People with breathing problems and lung conditions are more likely to develop severe cases of COVID-19 if they contract the virus. Patients with shortness of breath are several times more likely to develop severe COVID-19 and be admitted to the intensive care unit. In fact, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a progressive lung disease that causes long-term breathing problems) puts you at the greatest risk for getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
For veterans with lung conditions, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community against the virus. All adults over 18 should have two doses of the vaccine. They may also elect to get a booster vaccine after three months. It reduces the risk of getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus and spreading it to others.
Veterans with lung conditions should be aware of special considerations they may need to take when getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is generally safe for people with lung conditions. However, certain treatments, medications, and conditions require a few extra steps and precautions.
If you are immunosuppressed, you might be more vulnerable to getting the coronavirus because your immune system is not working properly. People who recently had lung transplants may be immunosuppressed. It’s recommended that you continue to take precautions against catching the virus even after you receive the vaccine.
People who have had a pulmonary embolism may be taking a blood thinner called Warfarin. For those on this treatment, you should know your latest reading for blood thickness on the day of the vaccination. If you don’t have it on hand, be sure to get in touch with your physician to get the information before you go in for the vaccination. Be sure to let the professional administering your vaccine that you’re on the blood thinner.
If you are getting biologic treatment for asthma, you should coordinate with your physician about the timing of the vaccination. Biologic therapy and the COVID-19 vaccine shouldn’t be administered on the same day. If there is a reaction, getting both on the same day makes it challenging for your doctor to tell which injection caused the issue.
Protect yourself from COVID-19. Get vaccinated as soon as possible or plan to schedule your booster at the appropriate time. To learn more about lung disease and the implications for COVID-19, contact the Veterans Health Services Group at 833-218-2792 to schedule a consultation.