To: South Heart Clinic Patients
Many South Heart Clinic patients have been inquiring about the safety and need for vaccination against COVID-19. As you are aware, cardiac patients, lung disease patients, the obese, diabetics, pregnant, and immune-compromised individuals are all at increased risk of complications or death from COVID-19 infection, mainly due to respiratory failure.
Public health officials widely agree that the vaccines are safe and that side effects and serious reactions are rare. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are approximately 95% effective in protecting people from serious illnesses from COVID-19. People who have developed COVID-19 previously, and those who have received convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies, should wait 90 days before receiving the vaccine. All people 12 and older are eligible for the vaccine in Texas.
COVID-19 cases in Texas and nationally have been surging mostly among the unvaccinated population, as the highly contagious “Delta variant” has become dominant. Recent data reveals that the vaccines are 88% effective in preventing symptomatic or severe infection, even against the “Delta variant”, and 96% effective against hospitalizations. Only 43% of Texans have been vaccinated compared to about 50% nationwide. In addition, thus far the durability of the vaccines have been demonstrated, and thus far, there is no need for a booster shot, though one is anticipated.
Even among those who have been vaccinated, infection with Covid-19 is possible, though much less likely. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (reported July 21, 2021), in Texas, there have been nearly 9,000 COVID-19 related deaths since February 2021, and 99.5% of the deaths have been in the unvaccinated. Specifically, only 43 of the total COVID-19 deaths in Texas occurred in vaccinated people, underscoring the fact that unvaccinated persons are at the highest risk of death, and most of these occurred in those 60 and older.
- Vaccination against COVID-19 is safe in cardiac patients.
- The vaccines are safe, and serious reactions are rare.
- You can become infected with COVID-19 even if you are vaccinated, but serious illness, hospitalization, and death are rare among the vaccinated.
- Texas is lagging behind the nation in vaccination rates.
The physicians and staff of South Heart Clinic