A new study published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine on Wednesday (25) revealed that people diagnosed with Covid-19 after being vaccinated may still have symptoms associated with long-term Covid.
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To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed the health records of US veterans (people aged 60, on average) before the peak of the omicron variant, between January and December 2021; a total of more than 13 million people.
From there, the scientists looked at data from 34,000 veterans (both male and female) who had infections even after receiving one dose of Janssen’s vaccine or two doses of Moderna or Pfizer, and found that these so-called infections breakthrough (from English, invasive) and the symptoms of long Covid were more common among those who received the single-dose vaccine.
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Also according to the publication, vaccinated people who had breakthrough infections, when compared to those who never tested positive for Covid, were at a greater risk of developing symptoms associated with long-term Covid, such as lung disorders and cardiovascular (more than 122 people out of 1000 had at least one symptom) at 6 months after diagnosis.
Despite this, the authors observed an important finding: the risk of death and the risk of a breakthrough infection are lower when compared to people who were not vaccinated. Compared to an unvaccinated individual, the risk of long-term Covid in a fully vaccinated individual was about 15%.
“Vaccines are miraculous in doing what they were designed to do […]but offer very modest protection against long-term Covid,” Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at the University of Washington and lead author of the research, told NBC News.
In the study, the researchers also point out that these results underscore that better strategies for preventing such infections need to be developed and that the data from the analysis is important for us to better understand the long-term effects of Covid-19 to treat it properly.