COVID vaccine and heart disease
As there’s a ramp-up of COVID-19 vaccination worldwide, every country is making vaccines available to people, especially patients with prior health conditions like cardiovascular diseases. If you’re a heart disease patient, you can have more severe consequences if you catch the COVID-19 infection. You might have many questions about when and why you should get vaccinated and whether COVID vaccine and heart disease have any complications.
This article provides essential information about the COVID vaccine and heart disease that every heart patient should know.
What Is the Impact Of COVID-19 Vaccine on Patients With Heart Disease?
There is a lot of medical information available on the internet regarding the COVID vaccine and heart disease. The only focus is that all patients with underlying heart conditions must receive the vaccine. The COVID-19 infection puts stress on the heart through various mechanisms, including direct inflammation of the heart. As people with heart disease are more likely to get the COVID-19 infection, vaccines reduce the risk of getting severe illness and hospitalization .
Based on clinical trials on heart patients, the COVID-19 vaccine has been reported to cause no severe effects. The only complaints in all patients include tiredness, headache, or pain at the injection site. Chills and fatigue occur when the immune system recognizes the viral proteins as dangerous. Patients with heart disease can experience the same symptoms as a response to the COVID-19 vaccine .
Is COVID-19 Vaccine Safe for People with Heart Conditions?
Getting vaccinated is especially important for patients with heart disease to prevent any complications from COVID-19. Vaccines like Moderna, Pfizer-Biotech, and Johnson & Johnson, authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, have been reported to be safe and effective against coronavirus. The American Heart Association has also urged patients with cardiovascular risk factors to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
As a result of vaccination, you’ll only experience a mild soreness at the injection site, which indicates that your immune system is mounting an attack against the virus. So, the COVID-19 vaccines are completely safe. Also, the current vaccines do not have a live virus; they’re safe for heart disease patients. Therefore, it is important for heart patients to get two doses of FDA-authorized vaccines .
Do immunosuppressants And Blood Thinners Conflict with the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Patients with heart disease or those who have undergone heart transplants have to take immunosuppressant medications and anticoagulants like warfarin. The vaccine is effective for heart patients with weak immunity. It is because the genetic material of the COVID-19 vaccine promotes the spike protein production of the virus, which alone is harmless. As a result, the immune response is triggered against the spike protein. When the body of a heart patient encounters the actual virus, the immune system mounts a strong response against the virus .
Heart patients who take blood thinners are more susceptible to bleeding, especially when the needle is inserted into the arm while getting vaccinated. Therefore, these patients are at increased risk of swelling and bruising at the injection site. It is recommended to use a fine needle (25 gauge) to vaccinate the patient, followed by no rubbing but applying firm pressure to the site. It is also recommended to have a keen knowledge of the COVID-19 vaccine and heart disease.
Are Vaccines Safe Against the Delta Variant?
One of the recent and even more contagious strains of the coronavirus is the Delta variant that differs in its ability to cause illness. The current data has been reassuring about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines against the Delta variant, too .
Since the risk of COVID-19 infection is more common in patients with heart disease, getting vaccinated is the best option to prevent severe consequences. The COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to be safe even for heart patients. If you’re still confused between the COVID vaccine and heart disease, get a virtual consultation from our heart specialists.
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- Lopez Bernal J, Andrews N, Gower C, Gallagher E, Simmons R, Thelwall S, et al. Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccines against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant. N Engl J Med 2021;385:585–94. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMOA2108891.