A new UK-based study has revealed that people who have been vaccinated against COVID19 are at a lower risk of long COVID as compared to people who have not been immunized yet when they are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The study is among the growing body of evidence, which shows that vaccination can considerably reduce the risk of long COVID even if a breakthrough infection takes place. Scientists have been saying that vaccination can entirely reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, now they have claimed that vaccines can lower the risk of long COVID as well. The authors of the study have said that two doses of COVID19 shots have reduced the odds of developing symptoms of COVID19 for 28 days or more after testing positive for the disease post-vaccination by half. The findings of the study have clearly noted that the people who are vaccinated with two doses of COVID19 shots are at a lower risk of long COVID. The findings of the study have been reported in a journal called The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The authors of the study have considered already recognized reduced risk of overall COVID19 infection as well while concluding the study. Experts have looked at a study that has analyzed breakthrough cases more broadly to come up with these findings on long COVID. The authors of the study have tried to find out which group of people might be at a higher risk of breakthrough cases. The study has looked at the data that have been submitted by millions of people who have been living in the United Kingdom. These people have been using the COVID Symptom Study phone app.
The UK government has granted authorization to three COVID19 shots, one vaccine that has been developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the other one has been made by Moderna and the third one has been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. All these three shots involve a two-dose regimen. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not given a sanction to the AstraZeneca vaccine but the agency has permitted a single-dose COVID19 shot that has been developed by Johnson & Johnson. Health experts have said that new findings on reduced risk of long COVID point at yet another reason for people to take their shots. However, despite the outcome that inoculation can reduce the risk of long COVID, many questions about the incidents of long COVID that take place in people who have been diagnosed with COVID19 post-vaccination remain unsolved. It is unclear if the symptoms of long COVID will appear different milder or long COVID will fade away sooner among vaccinated people as compared to people who have not been vaccinated. Experts have said that long COVID that is also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection or PASC has been one of the most frustrating aspects of the COVID19 pandemic. Long COVID is typically considered as having a wide range of COVID19 symptoms persistently even after recovery for a long time such as fatigue, body aches, and forgetfulness. Some people who are dealing with long COVID have mild symptoms such as they are not able to regain their sense of smell and taste. However, some people continue to remain debilitated for a long time. Experts have said that people who have been diagnosed with mild infections as well can become long haulers.
Many studies and surveys have shown that there is a fraction of people who have been fully immunized are dealing with lasting symptoms. A study that has been done by Israeli experts has revealed that 39 out of 1500 fully vaccinated health care workers have developed breakthrough infections and seven of them have been dealing with lasting symptoms of COVID19 six weeks later. These people have been dealing with cough, fatigue, labored breathing, and loss of smell. This study has been done before the delta variant has started spreading across the country; the strain has led to a huge surge in COVID19 cases. The concerning variant has been leading to breakthrough cases at greater rates as compared to other variants of coronavirus. Therefore, it is possible that the total number of people who are dealing with long COVID will shoot up with outbreaks that are caused by the delta variant. However, it is uncertain whether people who have been infected with the delta variant even after vaccination are at a higher risk of lasting symptoms of COVID19. The new study has been done from December 2020 to the early weeks of July 2021 in the UK. The study has included the early spike in cases in the country that has led by the delta variant. The authors of the new study have said that the findings have not been able to differentiate the risk of long COVID after a breakthrough COVID19 infection due to the delta variant. There have been some limitations in the findings of the study as participants have reported their test results and vaccination status on their own. The study has enrolled more women as compared to men.