Vaccination is the leading method in the fight against COVID-19. However, after it, some people still contract the infection. This is largely due to the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus. People who have been vaccinated tend to have a milder coronavirus infection than those who have not been vaccinated.
It is well known that many pathological symptoms can persist long after acute COVID-19. Whether vaccination protects against this problem was not known until recently.
In the new study, researchers analyzed data from more than 1.2 million UK residents who reported their symptoms using a mobile app. About 1 million of them received two doses of the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca from December 2020 to July 2021. Of these, 0.2% of participants fell ill with COVID-19. Scientists compared their condition with the condition of a similar number of participants from the control group – unvaccinated people who had had a coronavirus infection.
Fully vaccinated but ill participants were twice as likely to have asymptomatic infection as infected but unvaccinated people. Their risk of hospitalization for COVID-19 was 73% lower.
Among vaccinated people with COVID-19, prolonged (longer than four weeks after an acute infection) symptoms were 49% less common than those who were unvaccinated.
“I think this is indeed the first study to show that the risk of long-term covid is reduced after two doses of the vaccine, and the reduction is significant,” study co-author Dr. Claire Steves of King’s College London quoted The New York Times.
Dr. Steves added that there is currently no specific treatment for long covid. Therefore, vaccination is the best preventive strategy for anyone who can be vaccinated.