Vaccines Don’t Shield Against Long COVID, But May Ease Symptoms

News Picture: Vaccines Don't Shield Against Long COVID, But May Ease SymptomsBy Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 26, 2022 (HealthDay News)

Vaccinated individuals who expertise a breakthrough case of COVID-19 are in danger for growing long-haul signs, although they’re higher protected towards a number of the worst ones, new information present.

Compared to the unvaccinated, individuals who had COVID photographs had a 15% decrease danger of growing lengthy COVID signs after a breakthrough an infectionbased on information drawn from greater than 13 million US veterans.

,Vaccines actually cut back solely modestly the danger of lengthy COVID and positively don’t eradicate the danger of lengthy COVID,” said lead researcher Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “I’m sorry , it is not very glad information, however that is the information.”

But vaccination did considerably cut back the danger that an individual would endure a number of the most debilitating signs of lengthy COVID, based on findings revealed on-line May 25 within the journal Nature Medicine,

For instance, the vaccinated have been 49% much less prone to develop long-term lung issues and 56% much less prone to have persistent blood clotting problems, the researchers discovered.

Vaccines additionally diminished an individual’s danger of demise from a breakthrough an infection by 34% in comparison with the unvaccinated, the findings confirmed.

Al-Aly famous that the COVID vaccines are “remarkably effective” in stopping demise and hospitalization, and do present some safety towards lengthy COVID — simply not as a lot as everybody hoped.

“Definitely this should not be taken out of context to mean that vaccines are not effective, or not doing a good job, or they’re not really protecting public health, or they’re not really an essential tool in our continued fight in this pandemic,” he mentioned. “Vaccination absolutely has a role. All we’re saying here is they were designed from the get-go to address the short-term acute effects of the virus.”

Al-Aly likened the state of affairs to an athlete who specializes within the 100-yard sprint.

“Those athletes are not going to necessarily do very well in marathons, right?” he mentioned. “That’s not what they’ve trained for.”

For the researchhis workforce analyzed well being information on greater than 13 million veterans supplied by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

The researchers in contrast long-term signs of greater than 113,000 unvaccinated COVID-19 sufferers to just about 34,000 vaccinated individuals who skilled breakthrough infections between January and October 2021.

The researchers famous that the research doesn’t embody information from the much less extreme however extra infectious Omicron variantwhich started spreading late final yr.

“To my knowledge, this is the first study that really looks at breakthrough infections and long COVID, and clearly, even though you’re vaccinated, if you have a breakthrough infection, you can still have long COVID,” mentioned Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the Bethesda, Md.-based National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

“It lets us know as soon as once more that these are good vaccineshowever not good,” Schaffner added. “They don’t prevent everything.”

There are a number of theories about why COVID-19 would possibly produce long-haul signs even within the vaccinated, Al-Aly mentioned.

The spike protein that enables SARS-CoV-2 to contaminate cells interacts with a kind of receptor that appears to be expressed “almost ubiquitously on every human cell,” he mentioned. That means the virus can unfold wherever within the physique.

“We’ve initially kind of thought of SARS-CoV-2 as a respiratory virus, however that not is admittedly true,” Al-Aly mentioned.SARS-CoV-2 clearly shouldn’t be an completely respiratory virus. It can do a complete lot of harm in lots of organ programs.”

He mentioned it could be that the physique’s immune response to COVID-19quite than the virus itself, damages organs and causes long-haul signs.

Yet one other principle holds that even after an individual fends off a COVID-19 an infection, fragments of the virus proceed to flow into by the physique, inflicting continual irritation that results in organ damage, Al-Aly added.

“All of these are hypotheses that people are researching to try to get to the bottom of this,” he mentioned.

One downside with the brand new research is that it included each hospitalized and non-hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers, mentioned Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore.

“One of the challenges is to separate long COVID from post-ICU and post-hospitalization syndrome, which are well established conditions,” Adalja mentioned. In different phrases, well being issues attributable to a prolonged hospital keep for extreme sickness could be mistaken for indicators of long-haul COVID.

The research reveals the necessity for higher vaccinesin addition to higher methods for avoiding COVID-19 transmission, Al-Aly and Schaffner mentioned.

“There are any variety of investigators world wide which are engaged on COVID vaccines 2.0 and three.0, and hoping to essentially present improved safety of varied varieties,” Schaffner mentioned. “We don’t have those in our hands yet, but these sorts of studies will continue to motivate people to try and improve the vaccines that we currently have have.”

More info

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has extra about long-haul COVID,

SOURCES: Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, scientific epidemiologist, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; William Schaffner, MD, medical director, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Md.; Amesh Adalja, MD, senior scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Baltimore; Nature MedicineMay 25, 2022, on-line

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