Coronavirus vaccine FAQs : Hi everyone... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Coronavirus vaccine FAQs


Hi everyone,

We’ve answered some of the key questions we’ve seen on the community below - including if it’s safe for those taking blood thinners.

Is the vaccine safe for people with heart conditions?

Any vaccine which is approved will have been tested on people with long-term conditions, including heart and circulatory conditions, and including older people. The JCVI has decided that it is safe for people with heart conditions and other at-risk groups, and that at-risk should be among the groups which are prioritised to receive the vaccine.

As part of the testing, experts also looked at whether there are any differences in how well the vaccine works in people with health conditions. In the case of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (the only one which has completed testing) there were no meaningful differences in how well it works in people with health conditions that put them at risk of severe Covid-19 (including diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and obesity.)

Is the vaccine safe for people taking blood thinners like warfarin or other anticoagulants?

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. Injections into your muscle may bleed a little more than injections that are given under the skin, but less than those that are given into a vein. If you are taking a blood thinner such as warfarin, or a new anticoagulant, the bleeding may take a little longer to stop and you may get more bruising on your upper arm. 

Public Health England and the Department of Health have said that you can have the vaccine if your anticoagulant treatment is stable. That generally means that you will have been taking the same dose for a while and that if you are on warfarin, that your INR checks are up to date and that your latest INR level was in the right range. 

Is the vaccine safe for people taking blood thinners like clopidogrel or other antiplatelet drugs?

Yes. If you are taking an antiplatelet medication, such as clopidogrel, then the vaccine is safe for you to take. You may experience a little more bruising around the injection site. 

Can I get it at the same time as my flu jab?

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is recommended to be given at least two weeks apart from your flu jab. It's better to be protected from flu as soon as possible, so if you are eligible for a flu jab and haven’t yet had it this winter, contact your GP or community pharmacy. Don’t wait to have the coronavirus vaccine first.

Here are some useful links from the BHF

If you have any questions or concerns, call our Heart Helpline on 0300 330 3311.

Our Helpline is open weekdays 9am - 5pm, Saturdays 10am - 4pm.

Or email

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