We have learned much about COVID-19 prevention and treatment since the early days of the pandemic, and now we have a vaccine! While the vaccine is available to many adults within the US, there are still many questions about who should be vaccinated earlier as a priority. We already know that those at high risk from COVID include individuals that are older age, and those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or immunocompromised status. However, many researchers question why sleep apnea isn’t currently considered a high-priority condition for early vaccinations.
Sleep Apnea and COVID-19
Although several studies have shown contradicting evidence, obstructive sleep apnea is still not listed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as an underlying medical condition that puts patients at an increased risk of COVID-related hospitalization and death. Meanwhile, other sleep-related breathing conditions, including COPD and complications from smoking, are included.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the upper airway is blocked repeatedly during sleep, reducing airflow or stopping it completely. Because of this airway interference, many healthcare professionals are urging the CDC to list sleep apnea patients as higher-risk individuals who should be prioritized for the covid vaccine.
Should Sleep Apnea Patients Get the COVID Vaccine?
In short, yes – sleep apnea patients should get the COVID vaccine as soon as it is available to them. The vaccine is recommended for virtually everyone. Coincidentally, many sleep apnea patients end up getting the vaccine early because of other high-risk conditions, including obesity, type-2 diabetes, and heart conditions.
Risks of NOT Having the COVID Vaccine
Recent research has identified a link between OSA and severe illness from COVID-19. One study published this fall reported that patients with OSA were eight times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than others of similar age who received care from a Chicago-area health system. Sleep apnea was also associated with an increased risk of hospitalization and twice the risk of respiratory failure. Another recent study examined data on over 4,500 patients with COVID-19 and found that those with sleep apnea had an increased mortality rate.
Because of these increased risks, sleep apnea patients should be proactive in protecting themselves against COVID-19. The best protection from the virus is getting the covid vaccine. All types of the vaccine currently available in the United States are considered safe and effective at preventing COVID-19.
We Can Help
Our team of highly-trained specialists is committed to providing you with the very best care and sleep apnea solutions. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, contact us today for assistance scheduling your free vaccination appointment.