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Vaccines offer strong protection against hospitalization and death but, have little to no effect on long COVID. The phrase long COVID represents the lifelong effects people endure as a result of contracting COVID-19. Ranging from having trouble breathing, heart issues, joint pain, and in most cases the loss of taste and smell.
Research from the Journal of Nature Medicine was found to be disappointing as the findings show that vaccines in no major way reduce the possibility of long COVID. A vaccinated person’s risks for long COVID are only cut by 15 percent compared to an unvaccinated person, not much of a leap but progress nonetheless.
Dr. Ziyad Al- Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St.Louis and the lead author of the study feels that the vaccines fulfill their design in preventing “Hospitalization and death” but, “offer very modest protection against long COVID”. The vaccines predate the knowledge of long COVID for scientists and doctors, so they were never created for that purpose.
This news although unsatisfying, was not surprising to scientific experts. With cases of breakthrough COVID-19 infections reaching thousands of vaccinated individuals and hundred-thousands of unvaccinated individuals, long COVID affecting both the vaccinated and unvaccinated is not a shock.
Al-Aly highlighted that breakthrough cases do not directly connect to long COVID development and that only 10 percent of breakthrough cases will result in long COVID. Al-Aly also does not expect boosting to turn the tide in vaccine protection for long COVID however, Boosters reduce the chances of serious COVID and Complications as stated by Dr. Jason Maley, director of the critical illness and COVID-19 survivorship program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Although he confirmed vaccination is not the key to terminating long COVID, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly is adamant about adding additional layers to protect us all from “the long term consequences of this virus”.
Written by Mikal Eggleston
Edited by Sheena Robertson
NBC NEWS: Vaccines offer little protection against long covid, study finds; by Kaitlin Sullivan
The Wall Street Journal: New Study Shows Vaccination Reduces Long Covid Risk, But Modestly; by Sumathi Reddy
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