The Covid vaccine found its first recipients in the UK today, as the Government went ahead with plans to inoculate the most vulnerable. People aged over 80 and in hospital treatment received their jabs this morning, and ministers hope to administer them to all vulnerable people by early 2021. But many of these people have pre-existing health conditions and may feel apprehensive about taking the jab when already on medication.
Can you have the coronavirus jab if you take blood thinners?
Some people with pre-existing health conditions will need to take blood thinners.
These include brands such as Warfarin, Edoxaban and others which help treat some types of heart disease or prevent some defects.
Blood thinners also prevent clotting, however, which can lead to prolonged bleeding where people cut their skin.
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In cases where people sustain significant wounds, this can be dangerous, but experts have confirmed a needle prick poses little risk.
The British Heart Foundation, a charity for heart and circulatory diseases, said the Covid jab poses less of bleeding risk than other types of jab.
They said: “Like most vaccines, the coronavirus vaccine is injected into the muscle of your upper arm.
“As with any injection, there is some risk of bleeding.”
Advice from the department states people should check their INR level before they get a jab.
They advise: “Individuals on stable anticoagulation therapy, including individuals on warfarin who are up-to-date with their scheduled INR testing and whose latest INR was below the upper threshold of their therapeutic range, can receive intramuscular vaccination.
“If in any doubt, consult with the clinician responsible for prescribing or monitoring the individual’s anticoagulant therapy.”
UK vaccine chiefs have added the COVID-19 vaccine is as safe as the flu vaccination, which vulnerable people should also get.
Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), added they should also have the flu jab first.
She told the Andrew Marr Show last Sunday her team has looked “extremely carefully” at the Covid jab, adding “very few” people cannot take it.
Dr Raine added: “It is as safe as any general vaccine, the kind you might have if you go on holiday, and of course the flu jab.
“And I might just add if you are still to have your flu jab, please to have it before you have the Covid vaccine, and not at the same time.”