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Facts for patients with cardiovascular disease

FRIDAY, Jan. 15, 2021 (American Heart Association News) – Experts have a simple answer for heart disease and stroke patients who are wondering if they need a COVID-19 vaccination. This answer: yes.

“People with all kinds of risk factors and cardiovascular disease absolutely need to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19,” said Dr. Mitchell Elkind, professor of neurology and epidemiology at New York -Presbyterian Hospital / Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York.

Vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration pose no particular problem for these patients, said Elkind, who is also president of the American Heart Association. The AHA issued a statement Friday calling on people with cardiovascular risk factors, heart disease or a history of heart attack or stroke to get the vaccine “as soon as possible.” Getting the vaccine is especially important to them, Elkind said, because people with such underlying conditions are at greater risk of developing complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“People with heart disease or stroke – or for that matter, risk factors for heart disease and stroke – are much more at risk to the virus than they are from the vaccine.” , did he declare.

The vaccines have side effects, but Elkind called the complication risk extremely small. “The most likely thing that will happen is arm pain,” he said. “I can tell you, I received the vaccine, the first dose of Moderna vaccine. And my arm ached for a few days, like somebody hit me there. But I was still able to use my arm and lift it up, and that was it. “

People shouldn’t be surprised if they hear of other temporary side effects, said Orly Vardeny, associate professor of medicine at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and the University of Minnesota. The FDA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, for example, listed injection site pain, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, chills, joint pain, and fever as common reactions.

Vardeny, who has done extensive research on influenza vaccines, said such reactions are a sign that the body is developing an immune response, “and that’s a good thing. That’s what we want for our body makes antibodies that will prevent us from getting sick if we encounter the virus again. “