Covid vaccines and heart disease

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Are COVID vaccines safe for people with heart disease? We’re answering some of your questions on the #WorldHeartDay2021. 

Q: I have a history of heart disease, heart attack or cardiovascular risk factors. Should I get a vaccine?

Absolutely. Remember, you are at increased risk of severe complications from COVID-19, so you should be the first in line. All types of tested COVID vaccines are safe for people with a history of heart disease.

Q: Will the side effects of the vaccine be any different for people with a heart condition?

Not at all. Like anyone else you are likely to feel pain and bruising at the site of the injection, and in some cases fatigue. You may also run a low-grade fever. Symptoms generally last less than two days.

In rare cases, serious allergic reactions can occur. Seek immediate medical attention if you have trouble breathing, have hives, or swelling of the face and throat.

The side-effects are a sign that your body has a strong immune response and is developing antibodies to the virus.

Q: Can I develop myocarditis or pericarditis after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, but the chances are very slim. Myocarditis and pericarditis or the inflammation of the heart muscle or the sac surrounding the heart, can occur after any viral infection, including COVID-19, as a result of an exaggerated immune response. But the same can happen after the immune response generated by the vaccine. In the great majority of cases, though, the myocarditis and pericarditis after the vaccine are mild and resolve on their own.

To understand how slim the chances are, here are some numbers. As of June 21, the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration had confirmed only 393 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis 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.

It is important to note that myocarditis appears with other types of vaccines, such as smallpox, too. And the reasons for that are unclear.

Q: 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. 

While in most cases it’s absolutely safe to get a vaccine, here is the list of reasons to avoid vaccination: 

  • If you have allergies to any vaccine ingredients, including polyethylene glycol (mRNA vaccines) or Polysorbate 80 (viral vector-based vaccines);
  • If you have a known hypersensitivity to tromethamine (Moderna COVID-19 vaccine);
  • If you have had a severe reaction to a previous dose of this vaccine.  

Talk to your health care provider before getting a vaccine if you have a weakened immune system due to illness or treatment, or have a bleeding disorder.

Unfortunately, there is still information health professionals are still not sure about such as whether you can spread the virus to others after you have been vaccinated.

Even though you have had the jab, there is a small chance you may still get COVID-19 so you will need to continue to practice recommended public health measures, such as wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing. It is also important to wash your hands often with warm water and soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Try to avoid enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces and crowded places. Stay home when you are sick.

Wait 28 days after receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before getting a non-COVID-19 vaccine.

Rankel cares about the health of your heart. That’s why we developed Rankel Cardiocode. It is the first device in the world to be able to measure phase volumes of blood and assess heart resources. In many cases it can even predict sudden cardiac death.

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