Coronavirus vaccine: Dr Sarah offers advice on ‘reactions’
Covid-19 vaccinations will first go to the most vulnerable in society, many of whom have pre-existing conditions. Ministers prioritised older people, and the first to receive the vaccine was 90-year-old Margaret Keenan. With more older men and women to receive the jab this year, many of them will question whether it could interact with life-saving medication.
Can you have the coronavirus vaccine if you are on statins?
There are five types of statins available on prescription in the UK, including:
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
- Fluvastatin (Lescol)
- Pravastatin (Lipostat)
- Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
- Simvastatin (Zocor)
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The medications are a mainstay of many older men and women’s daily routines, thanks to their cholesterol-lowering properties.
People who take them may need help protecting against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, and as such fall into the “vulnerable” category ministers want to vaccinate first.
In good news for these people, experts have suggested the risk of interaction between statins and the Covid vaccination is low.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology, said he could see “no reason” why the mixture would cause health problems or reduce vaccine efficiency.
He said: “I also take a statin and would have no hesitation taking the vaccine.
“I can think of no reason why the vaccine would interfere with cholesterol-lowering drugs.
“I cannot say that it is impossible, but it would be very unlikely to lead to an allergic reaction or result in reduced efficacy.”
Professor Evans added he couldn’t say “never” as a scientist, but it is “extremely unlikely” there would be problems from the treatment combination.
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Scientists have identified statins as an unlikely hero during the Covid pandemic.
The University of California, San Diego, found statins reduce the severity of the infection.
The discovery, in part, may be due to their cholesterol reduction and “anti-inflammatory” properties.
Dr Lori Daniels, professor and director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at UC San Diego Health said: “Statins specifically may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection through its known anti-inflammatory effects and binding capabilities as that could potentially stop progression of the virus.”
While statins provide a raft of benefits, they can interact with some other medications and substances, causing unpleasant effects.
Those taking them should check with their doctor or the leaflet included in the box before they start a new medication.
Interactions may increase the risk of unpleasant side effects, such as muscle damage.
People taking the medication should also avoid drinking grapefruit, which can also cause interactions.
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