Heart Foundation’s plea: ‘Get vaccinated’

The Heart Foundation is urging the estimated four million Australians with cardiovascular disease (CVD) to get vaccinated to avoid the risk of severe Covid-19 complications.

According to the Heart Foundation Chief Medical Adviser, Cardiologist Professor Garry Jennings, people with CVD, which includes heart disease, blood vessel disease and stroke, are at a “higher risk of severe complications from Covid-19”, making it important for anyone with CVD to “get vaccinated as soon as possible”.

“This includes people who had heart disease and heart failure, as well as people who have previously had a heart attack or stroke,” adds Professor Jennings.

“People whose blood pressure remains high and Australians with diabetes are also encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as it is available to them.

“Having the vaccine means you are less likely to become ill or die from Covid-19.”

Other community groups at higher risk of Covid-19 complications who are also urged to get the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them, include those living in residential care facilities, people aged 70 years and older and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians aged over 55 years.

Professor Jennings adds that because vaccines must meet high Australian safety standards before being rolled out, all Australians should feel confident in the safety of the Covid-19 vaccines.

He adds that while vaccinations are important, it’s also important for people to keep “on with handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks”.

“It’s important … people follow their current treatment and medication plan, stay physically active and eat healthily.

“Your heart health matters, and medical emergencies still require urgent care.

“Get medical help if the symptoms of your heart condition become severe or worsen quickly. If you are experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, call triple zero (000) immediately,” emphasises Professor Jennings.