The most common long Covid symptom that could linger in vaccinated people – new study
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People affected by long Covid are often plagued with respiratory symptoms, like shortness of breath, tightness and pain in the chest, and muscle aches. Although the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 remains low among the fully vaccinated, a new study has found that those who do get ill with the virus could experience lingering symptoms. But researchers found that in such cases, one symptom tends to be more prevalent than others.
For the study, researchers analysed data from 1,497 vaccinated health care workers at the Shelba Medical Centre, in Israel.
Among them, only 39 people got infected despite having received the vaccine; 19 percent of which developed symptoms that lasted at least six weeks.
The researchers noted that among the patients experiencing long Covid, severe fatigue was the most prevalent symptom.
Doctor Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the infection, prevention and control unit with the Sheba Medical Centre, said: “You could say these are potentially mild symptoms, but disturbing enough that some of the people didn’t even return to work. It’s very concerning.”
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Researchers hope the findings will encourage the fully immunised to remain cautious.
Regev-Yochay added: “It’s really disturbing. If this is what we’re going to see with all of the even mildly symptoms infections that we’re seeing now, it’s definitely worrisome.”
She went on to stress that vaccines remain highly effective at preventing hospitalisations and death.
Doctor Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, said: “We had hoped that when you get vaccinated and even if you did have a breakthrough infection you would have enough of an immune response that would block this protracted symptom complex now known as long Covid.
“This study is really the first to give us an indicator that there’s some long-haulers among that small group of people that had breakthrough infections.”
Other experts said the findings provide yet more evidence that fully vaccinated people need to remain cautious.
Saad Omer, a vaccine expert at Yale, noted: “You could imagine your vaccine providing a bit of a force field, but that’s not the case anymore.
“It’s still a pretty strong armour. But it’s a penetrable armour.”
New research has said that vaccines have prevented 22 million coronavirus infections and 60,000 deaths in England.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, told BBC this calculation was based on how many people would have been infected, or died, without the vaccines.
The estimate of 60,000 deaths avoided because of the vaccine, comes from Public Health England.
Professor Van-Tam said: “I hope the worst is behind us, but I think it’s quite possible that we’re going to have one or two bumpy period in the autumn and in the winter, not only through COVID-19, but also through the flu and other respiratory viruses as well.”
According to Public Health England, vaccines are also thought to have averted more than 52,600 hospital admissions.
Previous estimates had suggested about 37,000 deaths and 11 million infections had been prevented by the jab.
The UK has reported a total of 31,117 new COVID-19 cases.
According to the government’s latest daily figures, a further 85 people in the UK have died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test.
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