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What Does the Coronavirus Vaccine Mean for a Victim of Mesothelioma?


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several vaccines for public emergency use, but many patients with pre-existing health conditions may have questions on whether a COVID-19 vaccination is right for them. In particular, mesothelioma patients may wonder if research suggests that they get vaccinated.

COVID-19 is a virus that has swept the globe due to its high infection rate. A few of the most common symptoms of the virus include dry coughing and shortness of breath, ranging from mild to severe. These symptoms are a huge concern for mesothelioma patients, especially those with pleural mesothelioma. The combination of COVID-19 and mesothelioma could be deadly for patients. A vaccine is a safe and effective option for those suffering from mesothelioma. Before vaccination, a mesothelioma victim should consult with their physician.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers, which is a potentially fatal carcinogen. This exposure often happens at the negligence of a manufacturer or a company that allowed its employees to work around the asbestos fibers. The asbestos fibers get trapped in the body and can irritate the tissue, leading to the development of the disease.

According to the Mesothelioma Center, common symptoms of mesothelioma include:

  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the chest or abdomen
  • Fever
  • Muscle weakness

The above lists the general symptoms, however, it is important to note that there are several types of mesothelioma. Each of these types affect a different part of the body and have different symptoms. Since there are a variety of symptoms, those suffering from an illness who might have faced exposure to asbestos should contact a medical professional as soon as possible.

The most common type, pleural mesothelioma, affects the lining of the lungs. It makes up about 75 percent of all mesothelioma cases and is caused by inhaling asbestos in the lungs. The second most common type, peritoneal mesothelioma, affects the lining of the abdomen. This is caused by asbestos ingestion, and the symptoms deal more with the stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, and abdominal swelling.

The next two types make up less than one percent of mesothelioma cases. The first type, pericardial mesothelioma, affects the lining of the heart. This is usually caused by asbestos fibers traveling from the lungs or abdomen into the heart either through the lymphatic system or the digestive system, respectively. The last type is testicular mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the testes. Researchers are still unsure how asbestos travels through the body to the testes. The type of mesothelioma a patient is diagnosed with can impact their treatment plan. Therefore, a patient should contact their doctor to determine whether surgery, chemotherapy, or a multimodal approach is best.

The disease has a big latency period, so many mesothelioma victims do not receive a diagnosis until decades after their asbestos exposure. This latency period, coupled with the fact that mesothelioma is already so rare, means that many patients do not receive a diagnosis until the disease is in its later stages. The prognosis for mesothelioma is very poor, which means that many mesothelioma victims do not have much time to spend with family and friends after their initial diagnosis. This is devastating for both a patient and their family.

Is a COVID-19 Vaccine a Safe Option for Mesothelioma Patients?

According to research, a COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective option for those suffering from mesothelioma. Since many of the symptoms of COVID-19 impact breathing, it is crucial that mesothelioma patients get vaccinated to avoid getting a severe case of COVID-19. Since the virus has taken the lives of even young and healthy individuals, mesothelioma patients should get a vaccine to improve their survival rate should they come in contact with COVID-19.

One of the major concerns for those with mesothelioma is that the vaccine will hinder an individual’s immunotherapy treatments. However, mesothelioma patients can rest assured that this is not the case. In fact, the FDA approved two potential front-line immunotherapy options that are useful for those suffering from mesothelioma. Research agencies also give their approval for patients to get vaccinated, even if they are in a clinical trial phase. This is a good sign for those who are currently in a clinical treatment.

Since mesothelioma patients are considered immunocompromised, they are likely to receive eligibility for a vaccine sooner rather than later. Many mesothelioma patients will likely be in Phase 1b or Phase 1c of the vaccine rollout, however, they should check their state’s rollout plan to determine when they are eligible for the vaccine. Some states prioritize individuals who are immunocompromised sooner than other states. This can ultimately affect when a mesothelioma patient is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Patients should also check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s website for more information.

However, patients and their families should note that even after receiving the vaccine, life will not return back to normal. The vaccine does not fully prevent an individual from getting COVID-19, but it protects the individual from getting the severe symptoms of the virus. Mesothelioma patients should not visit their vaccinated family members since they could still carry the disease.

Why Should I Hire a Mesothelioma Lawyer?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. Many times, this asbestos exposure is the result of a company or manufacturer’s negligence. Even after finding out that asbestos is carcinogenic, asbestos manufacturers still produced the substance. Due to its popularity and durability, many employers utilized the product to create materials. This left millions exposed and facing a possible mesothelioma diagnosis. Diagnosing mesothelioma is difficult as well, and many are burdened with expensive medical bills just to increase their survival rate. A mesothelioma victim should contact a lawyer to help get their entitled compensation to assist with expenses.

A mesothelioma lawyer will help the victim trace back their asbestos exposure through the use of special databases. A victim will tell their lawyer their work history, and the lawyer will help identify who is at fault. This is the first step in filing a lawsuit for compensation. If a bankrupt asbestos manufacturing company is at fault, a lawyer can help their client access special trust funds specifically for mesothelioma victims. Ultimately, a lawyer can help provide a patient and their family the support they need and allow them to focus on improving their health and spending time together instead of a lengthy lawsuit.

Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Advocate for Mesothelioma Patients

If you recently received a mesothelioma diagnosis, you need to contact a Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyer at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. Mesothelioma often takes both an emotional and financial toll on the patient and their family. Our lawyers work tirelessly to ensure that victims receive fair compensation for related expenses. For more information and a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-4000. We have an office located in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.