The World Heart Federation (WHF) joins the global health community in welcoming the roll-out of approved COVID-19 vaccines, a ground-breaking scientific achievement with health and social benefits. Millions of doses of vaccines are being administered in more than 50 countries.
WHF regards the vaccine as a critical tool in our fight to ward off the disease and focus on managing and preventing the heart conditions that further complicate the lives of those with COVID-19. COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes – itself an increased threat to heart patients – face a higher mortality risk. We urge massive worldwide vaccination, the only acceptable way to achieve herd immunity, and that those with underlying conditions and members of the exposed medical community receive the vaccine as soon as possible.
In supporting the global effort to address the pandemic, WHF reiterates that successful vaccine roll-out must include those most vulnerable, either because of health risks, on-the-job exposure, or socioeconomic status, a particular concern in low and middle-income countries: “As we race towards the 70% marker for herd immunity, our advocacy efforts focus on ensuring that the most vulnerable and at-risk groups in struggling communities get vaccinated first and get coverage from a disease that has often hit them hardest,” says Fausto Pinto, WHF’s President.
We have witnessed one of the most comprehensive joint efforts on the global stage and WHF recognizes the exceptional work of research, business, and governments to create a vaccine response that matches the threat of COVID-19.
Along with existing protection measures, vaccines support the fight against the pandemic. Speed should never sacrifice health, and safety protocols as vaccine efforts moved through the pre-clinical trials and phases are to be lauded. Years of scientific research and supportive technologies have enabled their application at a time when it was needed most.