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PERSPECTIVES FROM DR. JAWED FAREED, CO-CHAIR OF RESEARCH AND SCIENCE, NATF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
COVID-19 has been detected in more than 206 million people, causing more than 4.3 million deaths worldwide. Currently, there are some 16 clinically used vaccines, which have been used to control COVID-19 infections, and over 100 vaccines are in various phases of development. In the fight against COVID-19, these vaccines are our most effective weapon. In an incredibly short period of time, effective vaccines were developed and then delivered to millions of people throughout the world. It is uplifting to see researchers, clinicians, pharmaceutical sectors, institutions, and governments across the globe come together with a common goal of eradicating this pandemic someday soon. In the meantime, global vaccination is the key to managing the pandemic.
NATF has issued a position statement emphasizing the importance of vaccination and its safety:benefit ratio; this statement is regularly updated to reflect vaccine developments (such as FDA approval). Despite isolated reports about blood clot complications, the benefit of vaccines greatly outweighs any risk.
It bears repeating: vaccination provides the only option to control this pandemic.
NATF strongly recommends that all eligible individuals get vaccinated against COVID-19, including:
- People who have had a blood clot in the past
- People with genetic clotting disorders (such as factor V Leiden) or who have a family history of blood clots
- People who take anticoagulation (sometimes called blood thinners)
- People who take antiplatelet medications (aspirin, clopidogrel, ticagrelor)
- People who have bleeding disorders such as hemophilias
As flu season approaches, NATF, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends receiving both the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine (if not already received). These vaccines can be safely given at the same time to fight both illnesses.
Vaccination is the key to protecting our individual health and limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. It’s also the best tool we have to prevent blood clots and other vascular complications associated with COVID-19, such as pulmonary embolism (PE), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and stroke, as well as the chronic symptoms, called “COVID long-haulers syndrome,” which can persist indefinitely and be debilitating. The full statement is available on our website.