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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Vaccination campaign targets those with cardiovascular conditions

The special vaccination campaign for patients with cardiovascular conditions will be held at The Mall of San Juan vaccination center today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

By John McPhaul

The Physicians and Surgeons Association of Puerto Rico (CMCPR by its Spanish initials) announced Wednesday that it will carry out a special vaccination campaign for patients with cardiovascular conditions at The Mall of San Juan vaccination center today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Cardiologist Carlos Díaz Vélez, vice president of CMCPR, and a cardiovascular physician at Pavía Santurce Hospital, called for patients with cardiovascular conditions to take immediate action and go to get vaccinated with the three doses.

“Puerto Rico has a high incidence of hypertensive, diabetic and obese patients. All the studies that have come out since COVID-19 emerged indicate that the vast majority of patients who were complicated by COVID infection and died had cardiovascular factors such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity,” the doctor said in a written statement. “The virus causes inflammation in the heart, weakening the heart muscle, and producing cardiac arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, inflammation of the tissue of the arteries and circulation, causing thrombosis or obstruction of the arteries and veins. This shows an increase in deaths and high complications of patients who have these risk factors.”

Díaz Vélez emphasized that worldwide, between 25 and 38 percent of the population that has died from OOVID-19 are patients with cardiovascular conditions, but they also suffer from hypertension, diabetes and obesity.

“There are patients who only have hypertension, there are people with hypertension and diabetes, there are others who have obstructed arteries in the heart, there are patients with heart failure, but if they are infected by a virus, unfortunately conditions are connected that put the patient at risk of disease and death,” he said. “We have tools, masks, isolation, but vaccination is vital for hypertensive, obese, diabetic patients, patients with coronary heart disease due to obstruction, those who have had heart attacks, open heart surgery, transplant candidates and cardiac arrhythmia. For these patients it is mandatory to be vaccinated with all three doses. This has greatly demonstrated the reduction of complications in [the previously] vaccinated and unvaccinated.”

In Puerto Rico, cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular disease is the leading cause of death. “Vaccines do no harm. Do not be afraid of them,” Díaz Vélez added. “The data is clear and convincing, that the possible complications are 0.0009%, like any other prescription drug or vaccine in the population.”

The vaccination center will offer the service as usual to any eligible citizen who shows up at the site. The center is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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