Large UK Study Indicates a Simple Health Intervention to Reduce Risk of Long COVID

According to a large UK study, being fully vaccinated reduces the chance of suffering from long-lasting symptoms caused by COVID-19 infection.
The peer-reviewed journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases published the study on Wednesday using data from ZOE COVID, which tracks self-reported COVID-19 symptoms in more than 4,000,000 people in the UK.

Study results showed that people who were infected with COVID-19 after receiving two doses of vaccine had a 47 percent lower chance of developing symptoms that lasted more than 28 days.

The study found that long-lasting symptoms such as fatigue, persistent cough, loss or smell, and fever were most frequently reported by participants.

Only 0.2 percent of the 1,000,000 people who were fully vaccinated in the study developed COVID-19 infections, which was about twice the rate for those who weren’t.

The study showed that being partially vaccinated, meaning you only received one dose of a two-dose vaccine, did not reduce the risk of long-term COVID.

Data were collected from December 2020 through early July 2021. This was the time when the Alpha variant was dominant in Britain and the start of the Delta variant wave. The data on the variants of infections was not broken down in the study.

Vaccines are already proven to protect against COVID-19 infections and lower the risk of getting severe diseases. Although breakthrough infections do happen, they are more common in those who have been fully vaccinated.

Sky News reports that vaccines are significantly reducing the chance of people getting long COVID in 2 ways. Professor Tim Spector from King's College London was one of the authors of the study.

"First, reduce the risk of symptoms by 8-10 fold, then halve the chance of infection turning into COVID (long-term) if it happens."

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