Vaccines lower risk of long COVID: Study

A new study has found that patients vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus were less likely to experience symptoms of post-COVID condition, or long COVID.

Researchers evaluated the link between vaccinations and long COVID symptoms by examining individuals across eight large health care systems in the United States.

The study, published Wednesday in Nature Communications, used positive COVID tests from March 2021 to February 2022 among 161,531 vaccinated and 161,531 unvaccinated individuals. Of the vaccinated patients, 96.7 percent of them had two doses of a COVID vaccine.

The authors tracked the patients during a 151-day period and found that the rate at which people had post-COVID conditions was significantly lower for vaccinated people.

Post-COVID conditions were described as fatigue, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, cough, headache, pain, and “a range of moderate to severe outcomes affecting the cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, endocrine, and neurological systems.”

An exact definition has yet to be established because of the diverse and “non-specific clinical presentation” of symptoms.

Ultimately, researchers found that if individuals were vaccinated prior to contracting the infection, there was a reduced risk of long COVID outcomes and consequences from the virus, though the study found that vaccinated people had a slightly higher risk of mental illness over the study period.

A separate study found that long COVID symptoms could linger in some patients for up to two years.

The study follows a push from many senators who said the government must become more involved in the research of long COVID and provide Americans with support for their lasting symptoms.

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