By Dr. Nidal Yunis, M.D., FACC Many people have received COVID-19 Vaccine and many more are contemplating getting the vaccine as another surge of COVID-19 infection is taking place. But is the vaccine safe for people with heart disease or cardiovascular risk factors? Here are some questions and answers regarding COVID-19 vaccine for patients with heart disease. This information has been gathered from multiple medical and news sources. Are the vaccines safe for people with a history of heart disease, heart attack or cardiovascular risk factors? Not only are the vaccines safe for people with a history of heart disease, but they are also essential. People with heart disease are at increased risk of severe complications from COVID-19.
What are the side effects of the vaccine? Will the side effects be any different for people with a heart condition or cardiovascular disease? The most common side effects of the vaccines are pain and bruising at the site of the injection, and in some cases feeling tired or achy for a day or two. You may also run a low-grade fever. As a heart patient, your symptoms are no different than those of everyone else. Symptoms generally last less than two days. Does my heart condition make me more vulnerable to COVID-19? People with heart disease are not at higher risk of being infected by the SARS-CoV2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Unfortunately, people with heart disease are more likely to have a severe or critical case of COVID-19.
Can people on blood thinners get the vaccine? Definitely yes. You may get a bigger bruise on your arm, where you got the injection, due to the blood thinner. But this shouldn’t be a concern. If you notice a large bruise that is painful or continues to enlarge, though, ask your doctor about it. Is it true that the vaccine causes heart inflammation? As of June 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration had confirmed 393 cases of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, or pericarditis, inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart, in people 30 and younger who had received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. That's out of more than 300 million doses administered in the U.S. The facts are clear: this is an extremely rare side effect, and only an exceedingly small number of people will experience it after vaccination. Importantly, for the young people who do, most cases are mild, and individuals recover often on their own or with minimal treatment. So for parents and patients worried about making the healthiest choice for their children or themselves, the doctors agreed vaccination is the right decision.