There has been some speculation and scepticism regarding the COVID Vaccine side effects ever since the first vaccination drives began in India. As a result vaccination with pre-existing conditions has been a topic of active debate and research all over the world. Especially people with diagnosed but untreated signs and symptoms of hypertension, i.e. high blood pressure are curious to know if chances of side effects are greater.
COVID vaccine side effects
Some of the most common COVID vaccine side effects include a mild-grade fever accompanied by body pain or sometimes redness and pain at the site of injection. According to the World Health Organization, these are short-term side effects and are quite common with most vaccines. However, the risk factors for hypertension in regards to getting vaccinated have been stipulated by doctors.
Risk factors for hypertension: recent research
Recent research suggests that people with the signs and symptoms of hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) are at high risk of developing complications from COVID infection. However, this is only true for those who have uncontrolled and untreated hypertension as opposed to those who take regular medication to manage their high blood pressure. Further research into the COVID vaccine side effects also suggests that people who have obvious signs and symptoms of hypertension can have certain common side effects from the vaccine.
Why the risk?
People who are under treatment for the signs and symptoms of hypertension are also at some level of risk of developing the common COVID vaccine side effects. ACE 2 receptor is the site for binding of SARS CoV-2 and is also the receptor targeted by various blood pressure-lowering medicines. This led to some confusion initially on the increase in the risk of SARS CoV-2 related complications in people receiving treatment for hypertension. However, studies have shown that these medicines are safe to use during a pandemic and pose no extra risks to patients.
Mitigate risk factors for hypertension patients
Although the risk of elevated blood pressure levels right after vaccination is one of the rarer COVID vaccine side effects, people with untreated signs and symptoms of hypertension may be at significant risk. Therefore, it is advisable to get a diagnosis and begin treatment to reduce the risk factors for hypertension in regards to the COVID vaccine. However, if you are on regular medication for high blood pressure, do not pause your medication before or after getting your COVID vaccine as this could lead to further complications. Instead, you should consult your primary healthcare physician before getting the COVID vaccine.
COVID vaccination for hypertension patients: precautions
Since each person has unique anatomy and functioning, it is hard to predict the exact nature and severity of the COVID vaccine side effects. Therefore, the best precaution to be taken before vaccination with pre-existing conditions like hypertension are:
- Take your medicines timely.
- Monitor and maintain your blood pressure in a healthy range.
- Reduce high salt content in your diet.
- Choose foods healthy for your heart.
- Manage weight by regular exercise.
- Quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.
- And lastly, remain calm and find ways to reduce stress and tension before getting the jab.
Regardless of the several rumours and speculations that do not have any scientific basis, a vast population of Indians, even those with hypertension, have taken the COVID vaccine. It is better to be on the safer side by taking a vaccine rather than putting yourself at risk of getting a COVID infection. The data collected till now is inconclusive to confirm whether hypertension patients are in fact, at significant risk of COVID vaccine side effects. However, consulting a doctor is the best way to clear your doubts before vaccination with pre-existing conditions like hypertension.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.