Heart failure patients unvaccinated against COVID-19 at high risk of death

According to new research published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure, Heart failure patients who are unvaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, are three times more likely to die if infected with the virus compared to fully boosted heart failure patients. This is the first to look at COVID-19 vaccination status and outcomes in patients with this cardiovascular condition and shows how dramatic the protective effects are in this high-risk patient population.

The research is important since many heart failure patients are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine due to fear of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. This condition is a rare side effect of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines but a more common complication of COVID-19 infection. The results of this work can help heart failure patients better understand the benefits of being fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, and the protection it offers.

The researchers conducted a retrospective study to analyze the impact of COVID-19 vaccination status in the heart failure patient population. They looked at records of 7,094 patients from the with a heart failure diagnosis.

Of that group, 31 percent were fully vaccinated with two doses, 14.8 percent were fully vaccinated and had also received one booster and 9.1 percent were partially vaccinated with only one dose, and 45 percent were unvaccinated.

Researchers compared survival rates and numbers of admissions to the hospital and intensive care units between the groups, looking at both all-cause mortality and mortality. It was found that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated patients were three times more likely to die from COVID-19-related illness than fully vaccinated and boosted patients.

The study goes on to show that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated patients were 15 percent more likely to be hospitalized if infected with the virus and nearly twice as likely to be admitted to the ICU when compared to fully vaccinated and boosted patients. Hence, the message here is- please go and get vaccinated including getting the booster dose done.

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