COVID vaccines can cut post-infection heart failure, blood clot risk: Research

March 20, 2024

The COVID-19 vaccine can cut the risk of heart failure and blood clots after a COVID-19 infection, a new study in the British Medical Journal found.

Previous studies found that a SARS-CoV-2 infection can trigger cardiac and thromboembolic complications, and the risk for a person infected remains high for a year after becoming sick, researchers noted.

The new study found that while the risks remain, getting a vaccine slashes the risk of heart failure up to 55 percent and blood clots up to 78 percent after getting sick.

Using a sample of 10.17 million vaccinated people and 10.39 million unvaccinated people across three European countries, the study found the positive health effects were most significant in the 30 days following a vaccination but can last up to a year.

The study examined people who were vaccinated with Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

After the COVID-19 vaccine became politicized and controversial despite medical professionals urging the public to receive the shot, doctors said this study shows complications from the infection itself are worse than complications that may come from receiving the vaccine.

“While there has been concern about the risk of myocarditis and other thromboembolic events following vaccination, this analysis highlights that the risk of such complications is notably higher when it comes from the SARS-CoV-2 infection itself,” Dr. John Brownstein, the chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, told ABC News.

The results of the study show that a COVID-19 vaccination reduced the risk of cardiac and thromboembolic outcomes after a COVID infection. The effects were more pronounced in the few weeks following the infection, but are “consistent with known reductions in disease severity following breakthrough versus unvaccinated SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the study found.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults 65 years and older get an updated vaccine. The CDC released a report that the most recent vaccines from the fall were found to be 54 percent effective at preventing symptomatic infections among adults.