As more and more people get vaccinated, researchers have been hard at work in determining the effectiveness of the vaccine against the health effects of long-haul Covid. While we know that the vaccine can help protect against getting the virus, it’s also proven to result in a more mild case of Covid for those that do experience breakthrough cases. However, many people who experience a mild form of Covid also experience persistent, long-term symptoms. According to a new study, vaccination can also protect against this issue.
Breakthrough Infections are Uncommon
Breakthrough cases, or cases of vaccinated people developing Covid, are relatively uncommon. Although the vaccines were previously estimated to be 90% effective at preventing a symptomatic Covid infection, the number has now fallen to about 65%. This is likely due to more infectious variants, especially the Delta variant.
Despite the fall in effectiveness, vaccination is still the best protection for your health against developing Covid. A new study in the U.K. which reviewed data collected between December 2020 and July 2021 has found that just 0.2% of vaccinated people experienced a breakthrough case. Vaccination is also the best way to reduce your risk of long-haul Covid and death.
What is Long-Haul Covid?
Long-haul Covid refers to the long-term, persistent symptoms that Covid can sometimes cause, even in mild cases. People with long-haul Covid, or long Covid, experience continued symptoms even after they’ve been cleared of the virus.
Long-haul Covid can result in symptoms that affect your health for weeks and even months, including fatigue, hair loss, brain fog, numbness, and a prolonged loss of taste or smell.
Covid-19 Vaccine Protects Against Health Effects of Long-Haul Covid
In the new study, results show that breakthrough cases are less likely to result in long-haul Covid. The study found that vaccinated people had a 49% lower risk of developing long-haul Covid than those who are unvaccinated.
Published by U.K.-based journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the study reviewed Covid symptom data from over 1.2 million U.K. adults who self-reported via the Covid Symptoms phone app. The data included people who had at least one dose of the Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The study also included unvaccinated people in a control group for an accurate comparison.
Just 0.2% of the 971,504 fully vaccinated people had a breakthrough infection. When the data of those who experienced a breakthrough case was compared with unvaccinated people who developed Covid, the findings showed a 49% lower risk of symptoms lasting for over 4 weeks after infection for those who were vaccinated.
As new variants develop, we’re seeing new threats to the health of all people. Despite the lessened effectiveness of the vaccine against breakthrough cases, vaccination continues to be the best strategy to lower the risk of Covid-related illness and symptoms.