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Vaccine encouraged for those with preexisting cardiovascular complications

Projections show COVID-19 killing Americans at a higher rate than cancer, heart disease
Posted at 4:15 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 18:15:46-04

About 64% of the United State’s population has received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, meaning over half of the population is fully vaccinated. Still, there are millions of people across the country, including right here in Idaho who have not gotten a dose yet.

The American Heart Association says vaccines are recommended for those with cardiovascular diseases and for the population at risk of developing one in the future.

Vaccine data
Idaho's vaccination data as of 4:10 on 9/29.

Idaho still sits among the states with the lowest vaccination rate. Only 52% of Idaho's population 12 and up is fully vaccinated according to the Department of Health and Welfare’s website. This has led to an impact on our hospital system.

“To be living in a state where the vaccination rate is low, I think we see that play out directly. Unfortunately, it is exactly what Idaho is seeing right now which is overflowing hospitals beds, unable to care not only for people with COVID but for people having heart attacks and strokes,” American Heart Association President 2021-22, Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones said.

The leading cause of death in 2020 was heart disease, followed by cancer then COVID-19 according to the CDC.

“We really want to get the message out that COVID can affect more than just your lungs. It's not just a bad cold, it affects your whole body,” Lloyd-jones said.

He says conditions like obesity, hypertension, diabetes and preexisting things like heart failure or heart disease put people more at risk of more complications from COVID-19.

“Especially things like obesity and diabetes, they seem to set up a background state where there's more inflation in the body,” Lloyd-Jones said. "So, when the virus gets in there and creates its inflammatory response, that’s where you sort of get this perfect storm. Particularly for people who have risk factors, who already have preexisting cardiovascular disease. It's really crucial to get the vaccine again, for their personal protection.” Lloyd-Jones said.

“If you haven’t been able to, please reconnect with your doctor. Make sure you know what your numbers are. Is your blood pressure in good control? Doctors are really well equipped with the data to help answer your questions to help hopefully feel better about getting a vaccine if you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet.”

Pfizer booster shots are now available for those 65 years and older, or those 18 and older with underlying medical conditions, or who work and live in high-risk settings. so those with, heart conditions, diabetes, COPD, obesity and more are eligible.

Click here to learn more about who can get a booster shot now.