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.

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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. 

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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