Healthy Living

Are COVID-19 Vaccines Safe for People With a Bleeding Disorder?

African American woman getting COVID-19 vaccine

When COVID-19 first arrived, panic came with it. Thanks to years of previous research, a vaccine was developed within a matter of months. Suddenly, things began looking up. But for those with bleeding disorders, one question remained. Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for people with a bleeding disorder?

The Quick Answer: Get Vaccinated

Bleeding disorders can make life complicated. But with no associated increase in COVID-19 risk, you aren’t part of a priority group for the vaccine. That doesn’t mean you don’t need the vaccine. In fact, you should get vaccinated against COVID-19, especially as scientists have found no increased risk of the vaccine for those with bleeding disorders.

Why You Need a Vaccine

Much of the public discussion about COVID-19 revolves around symptomatic problems. Lung complications, body aches, fever and general fatigue are all in the news. But there is one complication not often discussed: blood clots.

Unfortunately, treatment for COVID-19-related blood clots typically requires blood-thinning medication. This can be dangerous for those with a bleeding disorder. Therefore, avoiding COVID-19 is vital and vaccination is the best way to do so. Currently, the only group of people who should avoid vaccination are those with an allergy to the vaccine’s ingredients.

Vaccination Tips for Those With a Bleeding Disorder

Have a bleeding disorder? When receiving your COVID-19 vaccine, consider the following:

  • Request the smallest possible needle
  • Apply post-injection pressure to the site for at least 10 minutes
  • Inspect the injection area for abnormalities for the first few hours
  • Contact your provider immediately if you experience swelling of the face or tongue, fever, skin rash that itches, shortness of breath or redness

Check With Your Provider

Ready to get your COVID-19 vaccination? Check with your provider. Your bleeding disorder is unique to you. While the vaccine is generally safe for people with a bleeding disorder, it is safest to consult your primary care provider.

The Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University provides expert care for those with bleeding disorders. Call 706-721-2505 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

About the author

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.