COVID-19 Vaccines: Cardiovascular Perspectives
The accelerated development of COVID-19 vaccines has ushered in new hope for the beginning of the end of this unprecedented pandemic with the heaviest toll on global health and economy. The goal of vaccination is to achieve “herd immunity” which helps interrupt the chain of transmission with the threshold of such immunity estimated at 60-70%. There are four main types of COVID-19 vaccines: messenger RNA (mRNA); viral vector; protein-based; and whole virus. mRNA vaccines and most of the COVID-19 vaccines are using various versions of the spike (S) protein as their vaccine antigen component, while a few vaccines employ the whole virion. Local reactions and mild symptoms are the most common adverse reactions to vaccination; however, anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening adverse effect and needs to be monitored and promptly managed. Deaths with temporal association with vaccination have also been reported, but not causally linked to vaccination. Thrombotic events have also been reported, particularly with two brands, and have caused alarm but apparently remain extremely rare, nevertheless authorities remain watchful. One is considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after one has received the last dose. Unfortunately, new strains of COVID-19 are emerging fast, for which the current vaccines may be less effective. Thus, it is still crucial to continue wearing facemasks, apply hand washing, and social distancing in order to slow viral spread and to protect everybody from infection. Several unknowns still remain about COVID-19 vaccines that relate to the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in “special” populations, the degree and duration that these vaccines protect against infection and transmission. and possible long-term adverse effects of vaccination, not yet encountered in phase 3 trials. Rhythmos 2021;16(2): 22-33.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
a. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
b. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
c. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).