In a recent study from at Washington University in St. Louis, researchers found that COVID-19 vaccine prioritization should prioritize those with advanced heart disease.
They suggest that all heart patients face a higher risk of COVID-19 complications and should receive the vaccine quickly, but the recommendations serve to guide clinicians in prioritizing their most vulnerable patients.
The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. One author is Thomas M. Maddox, MD MSc.
With the quick development of multiple vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued phased recommendations for which populations should get vaccinated first.
Under Phase 1c of the CDC guidance, all patients from 16-64 years old with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19 infection should receive the vaccine.
Although the guidance states that heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and smoking are examples of such high-risk medical conditions, it was silent on varying levels of risk among the variety of CVD conditions.
In the study, the team developed a policy statement that provides overall considerations of both exposure and clinical risk needed for vaccine allocation efforts.
They suggest patients with high blood pressure, diabetes should be considered higher risk compared to patients who are medically optimized.
Similarly, patients with morbid obesity should be considered at higher risk compared to patients who are overweight.
Patients with severe medical conditions, such as advanced heart disease, may require long-term stays in nursing homes or rehabilitation centers, which increases their risk of COVID-19 exposure.
Data shows that the clinical risk for severe COVID-19 infection is linked to both advanced age and preexisting medical conditions, especially when two or more co-occur.
This policy statement urges older patients with multiple comorbidities, including heart conditions and/or frailty should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination.
If you care about the COVID-19 vaccine, please read studies about what heart and stroke patients should know about COVID-19 vaccines and findings of risks vs. benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine.
For more information about COVID-19 treatment, please see recent studies about scientists develop COVID-19 vaccine nasal spray and results showing that these two drugs may help you recover from severe COVID-19.
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