A recent study published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure has shown that heart failure (HF) patients who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 face major risks compared to patients who are fully vaccinated and boosted.
The study looked at over 7,000 patients with HF and examined the association between their COVID-19 vaccination statuses and hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and mortality. Among the HF patients in the study, about 45% were unvaccinated, 9% were partially vaccinated, 31% were fully vaccinated, and 15% were fully vaccinated and boosted. The mean age of patients in the study was about 73 years, and the mean follow-up time in the study was about 9 months.
The lowest mortality rates were observed in patients who were fully vaccinated and boosted after 9 months of follow-up time, and the second-lowest mortality rates were observed in those who were fully vaccinated but not boosted. Interestingly, no difference was observed between patients who were partially vaccinated and those who were unvaccinated. The study examined both all-cause mortality and mortality related to COVID-19, and patients who were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated were three times more likely to die after COVID-19 infection than those who were fully boosted. Additionally, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated patients were more likely to be hospitalized or admitted to the ICU.
COVID-19 vaccination is very important for high-risk populations, but many heart failure patients are hesitant to receive the vaccine due to fears of heart inflammation. The unvaccinated proportion of adults in this study was about double the unvaccinated proportion of adults in New York City, and many of the patients were likely reluctant to get the vaccine due to inflammation concerns. However, this study has demonstrated that the COVID-19 vaccine is particularly important for those experiencing heart failure and that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.