TAMPA, Fla. — As more people look to get vaccinated for COVID-19, doctors are continuing to put an emphasis on people with underlying health conditions.
“These individuals in particular, the vulnerable population of folks, the reason they’re vulnerable is because they’re more at risk for a severe outcome if they were to get COVID,” said Dr. Laura Arline, Chief Quality Officer of Baycare Health System.
“People who have cardiovascular complications from a long-term stand point, high blood pressure, diabetes. If you become infected, you have a much greater chance of having a really bad outcome as opposed to if you did not have that condition,” said Dr. Kevin Sneed, Dean of the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy.
For people who haven’t been able to get vaccinated yet, doctors say what they do while they wait could save their life.
“I believe we should all, even if you’ve been vaccinated, we should continue with the public health measures, we should continue to wear a mask,” said Sneed.
“Avoiding crowds and avoiding areas that may not be ventilated well, and then of course the social distancing,” said Arline.
While there are many concerns for people in the high risk category for COVID-19 complications, experts say the good news is those people aren’t at high risk for side effects from the vaccine.
“What we see is that not in particular for the high risk groups, they seem to react to the vaccine similarly to the individuals that are considered of normal risk,” said Arline.
To anyone still trying to get vaccinated, doctors say hope is on the horizon.
“If we can have people who have been holding on, up until now, hold on just a little while longer,” said Sneed.