COVID-19 vaccines are safe for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), according to a new study published in the journal Vaccines.
“The results obtained in this study may encourage patients of these rare but severe cardio-pulmonary diseases to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” the authors wrote.
Some patients with PAH and CTEPH refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 even though the mortality rate of the disease is much higher than the general population in this group of patients.
To understand why patients do not get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to assess the safety of approved vaccines in this population, a team of researchers led by Marcin Kurzyna Kurzyna, MD, PhD, FESC, conducted a cross-sectional study.
The researchers examined 261 patients, aged 18 to 92 years, with 164 who had PAH. A total of 61 patients, corresponding to 23% of all patients, refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Read more about PAH comorbidities
The main reason for this was anxiety about adverse events. Statistical analyses showed that factors impacting patients’ willingness to be vaccinated were age and fear of COVID-19.
Among those who did get vaccinated, adverse events were reported in 61% of patients after the first dose and 40.5% of patients after the second dose. These included pain at the site of injection, fever, fatigue, muscle ache, and headache. Patients who were older had a lower percentage of adverse events.
These findings led the researchers to conclude that COVID-19 vaccines are safe for PAH and CTEPH patients. “Due to the high risk of death associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in PAH/CTEPH patients, COVID-19 vaccination in this group should be a high priority,” they said.
“The safety profiles of the COVID-19 vaccines in patients with PAH and CTEPH could convince people with these rare but severe diseases to get vaccinated.”
Wieteska-Miłek M, Szmit S, Florczyk M, Kuśmierczyk-Droszcz B, Ryczek R, Kurzyna M. COVID-19 vaccination in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: safety profile and reasons for opting against vaccination. Vaccines. 2021;9(12):1395. doi:10.3390/vaccines9121395