How can I get a stronger heart

24.02.2021 11:15

Covid-19 vaccination: What to watch out for after a heart attack, heart failure or arrhythmia

Michael Wichert Press and public relations
German Heart Foundation / German Heart Research Foundation

Heart Foundation advises cardiac patients to be vaccinated - including the newly approved vector vaccine - and provides information on what to look out for in certain cardiovascular diseases

Cardiovascular patients are considered to be particularly at risk of severe disease after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A vaccination against Covid-19 undoubtedly contributes to individual protection and pandemic containment. That is why the Heart Foundation strongly advises cardiovascular patients to vaccinate Covid-19 with active ingredients based on mRNA (Biontech / Pfizer, Moderna) and based on the newly approved vector vaccine. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), AstraZeneca's vector vaccine for people aged 18 to 64 is comparable to mRNA vaccines in terms of safety. Many heart patients have mixed feelings about the Covid 19 vaccination, for example because of possible side effects. "As with any immunization - there are occasional side effects with the Covid-19 vaccination," says the heart specialist and pharmacologist Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Meinertz from the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Heart Foundation emphasizes, however, that "the protective effect of the vaccination against a serious Covid-19 disease course far outweighs the risks of side effects". Frequently asked questions and expert answers from the heart clinic about corona vaccination can be found by heart patients and their relatives at

All three vaccines are "equally good" in protecting against severe Covid-19 disease
Stronger but harmless vaccine reactions, such as those reported with the AstraZeneca vaccine, are annoying, but they are similar to those of other virus vaccinations. Such vaccination reactions, which can also occur with mRNA vaccines, seem to be more likely to occur in younger people than in older people. "The rejection of an offered vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine is unfounded and unreasonable in view of the well-documented effectiveness," said Meinertz. All three available vaccines are generally very well tolerated, as millions of vaccinations have shown. “For heart patients, the three approved vaccine preparations are equally good in terms of their protective effect against a severe course of Covid-19. This applies to patients who have had a heart attack, with implanted heart valves as well as cardiac pacemakers and implantable defibrillators such as ICD / CRT devices, ”says Meinertz.

Wait at least eight days to vaccinate after a heart attack
Many millions of people around the world have now been vaccinated - including numerous patients with heart disease, high blood pressure or other previous illnesses. Depending on the severity of the disease, those affected should talk to their doctor before their vaccination appointment. "For example, the vaccination should not take place during the acute phase of a heart attack, that is, not within the first eight days after the heart attack," emphasizes Meinertz. It is also important that the patients are well adjusted with regard to their previous illnesses such as high blood pressure. Under no circumstances should those affected discontinue their medication on their own initiative. "Patients should, however, mention all previous illnesses and the medication they regularly take in the pre-vaccination consultation," recommends the doctor.

Vaccination with an artificial heart valve or pacemaker is also possible
People with a stent (vascular support), a pacemaker or a biological heart valve can also be vaccinated against Covid-19 without any problems. Vaccination is also advisable for patients with a mechanical metal heart valve who are taking anticoagulant medication (blood thinners). The RKI recommends using particularly fine cannulas for these patients and then compressing the puncture site for about five minutes. As a precaution, experts also recommend a longer follow-up period of 15 to 30 minutes (information: Those affected should not fear the risk of side effects - on the contrary: Since heart patients have a particularly high risk of developing a life-threatening disease with a corona infection, they benefit particularly strongly from a vaccination against Covid-19.

Be careful if you have survived the allergy shock
However, the Covid 19 vaccination is not entirely free of side effects. The most common side effects observed so far include pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache and fever. In isolated cases there were severe allergic reactions. “However, this mainly affected people who had previously shown severe allergic reactions,” emphasizes Meinertz. According to the current state of knowledge, patients with simple allergies, for example against house dust, medication or contact allergies, can be vaccinated without any problems. People with multiple allergies should speak to their treating specialist beforehand. Patients who have ever suffered an allergic shock (anaphylactic shock) should not be vaccinated.

Information about the corona vaccination for heart patients
Further information for patients and relatives with questions about Covid-19 vaccination with existing cardiovascular disease (heart attack, heart valve disease, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, high blood pressure) is available from the German Heart Foundation at (Tel. 069 955128-400).

German Heart Foundation
Press office:
Michael Wichert (head) / Pierre König
Tel. 069 955128-114 / -140
Email: [email protected]

Additional Information:
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Biology, nutrition / health / care, medicine
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