With the COVID vaccination drive at its peak along with sudden spurt in the large number of COVID cases , a large section of population suffering from cardiac diseases is in dilemma whether to take it or not as lot of myths are circulating in society regarding it . In order to address these concerns we have the man himself with us, Dr Sushil Sharma, Prof and Head of Department, Cardiology, Super Specialty Hospital, Jammu to answer all the queries arising in the mind of persons suffering from cardiovascular diseases and in queue for getting vaccinated.
Question: How safe is COVID vaccination particularly with reference to patients with cardiovascular diseases.
Answer: All the vaccines which are live and attenuated have some adverse effects in the form of mild fever, bodyaches and coryza and Covid vaccine is no exception to that. These effects are very mild and they go on their own within two to three days. Basically it is the normal response of body to antigen and there is nothing to worry about it. Patients with cardiovascular diseases are as safe after taking the vaccine as any other normal person without any comorbidity.
Question: Should all the persons suffering from various cardiac diseases take the vaccine or is there any stratification who should and who shouldn’t receive it.
Answer: Patients with cardiac ailments fall into very high risk category with reference to COVID and all should take the vaccine when their turn comes without giving a second thought to it, particularly in present scenario when we are witnessing a huge load of COVID patients day by day, because even if patient somehow contracts the diseases after taking it which is a very remote possibility, the severity and duration of disease will be much less. In short all the persons with cardiac and other high risk categories as notified , should receive the COVID vaccine.
Question: If patient is on blood thinners, should he/she take the vaccine.
Answer: Most of the patients suffering from cardiovascular ailments are on blood thinners. All these patients can take vaccine as there has been no proven interaction between these drugs and COVID vaccine, infact patients who are suffering from severe covid are started on these blood thinners to prevent any chances of pulmonary embolism. So either ways it’s safe to take vaccine in this scenario.
Question: Do patients who are on permanent pacemakers and other intracardiac devices need to take any precaution after taking vaccine.
Answer: Patients who are on cardiac devices are high risk cardiac patients and need to take vaccination on priority basis. No special precaution is needed with them and all of them can go safely for vaccination.
Question: What medicines should be taken if one develops fever or bodyaches after receiving vaccine.
Answer: Mild fever and generalised bodyaches are seen in some of patients after receiving vaccine, be it COVID or other live attenuated vaccines given during routine universal immunization. One can take paracetamol tablet six to eight hourly for two to three days depending upon the symptoms.
Question: What precautions one needs to take after taking vaccine.
Answer: One needs to follow respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene with same zeal and enthusiasm, even after receiving vaccine because before getting the second dose of COVID one can contract the disease in between the first and second dose. So in short social distancing and respiratory hygiene has to be followed in strictest sense even after vaccination.
Question: What is your message for general masses and particularly population with cardiac and other associated co morbidities.
Answer: Everyone should observe the common practices of social distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently and avoiding gatherings – especially in closed spaces. People with heart disease should be particularly careful, given increased risk of severe or critical COVID-19.
(The writer is student of BA.LLB, Bennett University, Greater Noida)