Vaccination, infection may lower long Covid symptoms: Study

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People who have both been vaccinated and had Covid-19 are less likely to report fatigue and other health problems seen post Covid, than unvaccinated people, according to a study based in Israel.

The study, not yet peer reviewed, showed that vaccinated people were no more likely to report symptoms than people who have never caught SARS-CoV-2, Nature reported.

The findings showed that fully vaccinated participants who also had Covid-19 were 54 per cent less likely to report headaches, 64 per cent less likely to report fatigue, and 68 per cent less likely to report muscle pain than were their unvaccinated counterparts.

“Here is another reason to get vaccinated, if you needed one,” co-author Michael Edelstein, an epidemiologist at Bar-Ilan University in Safed, Israel was quoted as saying.

People with the debilitating condition called long Covid continue to experience symptoms — such as fatigue, shortness of breath and even trouble concentrating — weeks, months or years after SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Some estimate that up to 30 per cent of infected people, including many who were never hospitalised, have persistent symptoms.

Vaccination reduces long Covid’s incidence by preventing people from getting infected in the first place.

In theory, the shots could also protect against the condition by minimising the length of time the virus has free rein in the body during breakthrough infections.

In the study, the team between July and November 2021, asked more than 3,000 people whether they were experiencing the most common symptoms of long Covid. All had been tested for SARS-CoV-2 between March 2020 and the study period.

The researchers compared the prevalence of each symptom to self-reported vaccination status.

According to Edelstein, his team’s study is the most “comprehensive and precise” to date on vaccination and long Covid. He added that the results echo those of other research, including a UK-based study from last September that found that vaccination halved the risk of long Covid, the report said.

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