Local doctor explains why heart, stroke patients especially need the COVID-19 vaccine

ATLANTA — Many people have asked Channel 2 Action News if people with health conditions should get the vaccine. We spoke to local doctors who say it’s more important for everyone to get vaccinated, including those with cardiovascular risk.

Doctors at Piedmont Hospital said heart and stroke patients should absolutely get vaccinated. They said the main reason if a heart patient contracted COVID-19, they have a higher chance of developing complications.

[SPECIAL SECTION: COVID-19 Vaccine in Georgia]

“Heart disease remains the number one killer in the United States, and probably COVID-19 is going to ensure that it maintains its number one status,” said Dr. Jayne Morgan, clinical director of the COVID task force for Piedmont Healthcare.

[LINK: Where to find the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia]

Morgan said all cardiac and stroke patients and those who are at risk of heart disease and heart failure should consider getting vaccinated.

“COVID-19. If you have heart disease, you probably have a 25 to 30 percent risk of having a severe outcome or even death, just by having heart disease and COVID-19 at the same time, so we have to really think about that,” Morgan said.

We found seniors, like Nelson Brackin, braving the cold outside of Mercedes-Benz Stadium to get vaccinated on Monday.

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“This is my first time,” Brackin said.

As of Saturday, Fulton County shows more than 21,000 people with the first dose and nearly 6,500 with the second dose.

Those in the first group getting the shot, include first responders, healthcare workers and about 125,000 seniors.