A recent PHA Live event addressed myths about the COVID-19 vaccine. Members of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) COVID-19 task force answered questions about pandemic issues in a May 27 webinar.

Cardiologist Mardi Gomberg, M.D., M.Sc., of the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, explained how the vaccines work and stressed that they don’t interact with pulmonary hypertension (PH) medication.

COVID-19 vaccines stimulate immune responses to fight the infection but don’t transmit the virus, she said. The panelists strongly advised all people – especially those with PH – to get vaccinated.

The panelists also discussed the differences between monoclonal antibodies and COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccines guide the body to create antibodies to fight the disease and prevent future infection. Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat people who have contracted the virus, directly providing antibodies to fight the virus.

Michele Freeman, M.S., N.C.C., L.P.C., addressed risks to unvaccinated people, including worsened respiratory issues and death.

The largest hesitation related to the vaccine is fear, she said. She provided tips to ease anxieties, including chewing gum or simply smiling. Her parting advice to the community, both vaccinated and not-yet-vaccinated, was, “Using the mask works. It protects all!”

PHA’s COVID-19 task force is a collaboration of medical professionals, specialists, patients and PHA staff. It aims to provide up-to-date information about COVID-19, the vaccine and implications for people with PH.

Other panelists included task force member Thenappan Thenappan, M.D., a cardiologist at the University of Minnesota Health Heart Care.

Watch the PHA Live event here.

Keep up with the latest information about COVID-19.