Can People on Blood Thinners Get the COVID Vaccine?

As new COVID vaccines are rolled out across the U.S., some people want to know if it is safe for those who take blood thinning drugs to have the shot.

On Tuesday morning ET, Google searches around this topic spiked as people sought out information.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is safe for people with underlying medical conditions to have COVID vaccines if they had not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine, or to the shot itself previously.

People with underlying medical conditions can receive the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.

Evidence suggests it is safe for people who take blood thinners to have the COVID vaccine. However people on this medication are advised to be aware of the fact they may experience some bruising around the injection site, and there is also some risk of bleeding.

Vaccine manufacturer Moderna advises people who take blood thinning medication to mention this to their vaccination provider before they receive the jab. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers similar advice for the Pfizer COVID vaccine.

Clot Connect, a blood clot information service run by the University of Carolina's Blood Research Center, states "patients should not avoid the COVID vaccination because they are on a blood thinner."

In addition, Clot Connect said people who receive a COVID vaccine do not need to interrupt their blood thinner.

According to the U.K.-based charity the British Heart Foundation (BHF) it is "in general" safe for people taking anticoagulant blood thinners such as warfarin to take the vaccine, but that they should let their vaccine provider know they are on the medication.

The charity said: "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."

For people taking antiplatelet drugs like clopidogrel and others, BHF said the vaccine is safe.

According to the North American Thrombosis Forum (NATF), "global recommendations state that you can be vaccinated if your anticoagulation is stable" but those who take the anticoagulant medication warfarin should routinely test their INR levels, which help determine blood clotting.

They should also check that their INR is "within a target (or therapeutic) range as determined by your doctor," the NATF said.

The vaccine is also safe for people with cardiovascular risk factors such as long-term heart and circulatory conditions, Dr. Purvi Parwani, a cardiologist at Loma Linda University's International Heart Institute, wrote in a blog post on the institution's website.

Catching COVID, on the other hand, could lead to life-threatening complications in such patients, she said.

Nearly 65 million people across the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine; equivalent to nearly 20 percent of the population.

With the rollout expanding, scientists have told Newsweek they believe the benefits increasingly outweigh any potential risks associated with the jab.

Professor William Moss, executive director at the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University, said at this stage "we have not identified serious side effects that are caused by the vaccine."

Health worker holding syringe
A health worker prepares a syringe at the Clinical Studies Center of the Cayetano Heredia University in Lima on December 09, 2020. In the U.S., nearly 65 million people have been vaccinated against COVID. Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty