“Get vaccinated”: 4 million Australians at higher risk of illness from COVID-19

Medical professional wearing face mask draws COVID-19 vaccine into syringe

The Heart Foundation is urging the estimated 4 million Australians with cardiovascular disease to get vaccinated to avoid the risk of severe complications from COVID-19.

Heart Foundation Chief Medical Adviser, cardiologist Professor Garry Jennings, said Australians should feel very confident that only those vaccines that meet high Australian safety standards are being rolled out.  

“We encourage people with cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease, blood vessel disease and stroke, to get vaccinated as soon as possible as they are at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19,” he said. 

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

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) includes two of Australia’s biggest killers, heart disease and stroke. An estimated 50 people die of heart disease and an average of 23 people die of stroke every day. 

People in priority groups, such as those living in residential care facilities, people aged 70 years and older and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians aged over 55 years are urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible as they are also at higher risk. 

“Finally, it’s important that as well as keeping on with handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks, people follow their current treatment and medication plan, stay physically active and eat healthily,” Professor Jennings said 

“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.” 

Story source: Heart Foundation

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