Getting double stung nearly halves the chance of long-term Covid in adults who get coronavirus, a new study has suggested.
Researchers from King’s College London also said hospitalization with the virus was 73 percent less likely, and the risk of severe symptoms was reduced by almost a third (31 percent) in fully vaccinated individuals.
The team analyzed data from more than two million people who registered their symptoms, tests and vaccine status in the UK Zoe Covid Symptom Study app between 8 December 2020 and 4 July this year.
About 6,030 app users reported testing positive for Covid-19 at least 14 days after their first vaccination but before their second, while 2,370 reported testing positive for at least seven days after their second dose.
Researchers from King’s College London also said hospitalization with the virus was 73 percent less likely, and the chance of serious symptoms was reduced by almost a third (31 percent) in the fully vaccinated
The most common symptoms, such as loss of smell, cough, fever, headache and fatigue, were milder and less commonly reported by people who were stung, the study suggested.
They also said people were half as likely to develop multiple symptoms in the first week of illness.
Sneezing was the only symptom that was more common in those who had received a first dose compared to those who had none.
People aged 60 or older who received both doses of a vaccine were more likely to have no symptoms at all than those who had not been stung, the study suggested.
The study, published in the Lancet, said: ‘We found that taking two doses of vaccine for 28 days or more after infection was approximately halved after vaccination.
“This result suggests that the risk of long-term Covid is reduced in individuals who have received double vaccination, when additionally the already documented reduced risk of infection in general is taken into account.”
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF LONG COVID?
Most coronavirus patients recover within 14 days, develop a fever, cough and lose their sense of smell or taste for several days.
However, evidence is beginning to emerge that tell-tale symptoms of the virus can persist for weeks in “long transporters” — the term for patients plagued with lasting complications.
Data from the Covid Symptom Study app, by King’s College London and health company Zoe, suggest that one in ten people still have symptoms after three weeks, and some can suffer from them for months.
Long-term symptoms include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Increased heart rate
- to succeed
- Loss of taste/odor
- kidney disease
- Mobility issues
- muscle strain
For those with more severe illness, Italian researchers who followed 143 people hospitalized with the illness found that nearly 90 percent still had symptoms, including fatigue, two months after they first felt unwell.
The most common complaints were fatigue, shortness of breath and joint pain – all of which were reported during their battle with the disease.
It added: ‘Almost all individual symptoms of Covid-19 were less common in vaccinated versus unvaccinated participants, and more people in the vaccinated than in the unvaccinated groups were completely asymptomatic.’
The research team said their data suggested that vulnerable, older adults and people living in more deprived areas are still at increased risk, but that the effects of the virus appeared to be less severe in those who were vaccinated.
They said their findings were relevant “to post-vaccination health policy, highlighting the need to balance personal protective measures in those at risk of post-vaccination infection with the adverse effects of ongoing social restrictions.”
They added: ‘Strategies such as timely prioritization of booster vaccinations and optimized infection control measures can be considered for high-risk groups.
“Research is also needed on how to improve the immune response to vaccination in people who are at higher risk of infection after vaccination.”
Professor Tim Spector of King’s College, and principal investigator of the Zoe Covid study, said: ‘Vaccinations greatly reduce the chances of people getting Covid for a long time in two ways.
“First, by reducing the risk of symptoms eight to tenfold, and then by halving the chance of an infection turning into long-term Covid, if it does happen.
“Regardless of the duration of symptoms, we see that infections after two vaccinations are also much milder, so vaccines really change the disease and for the better.” We encourage people to get their second shot as soon as possible.’
The lead researcher, Dr. Claire Steves, also of King’s College, said the good news was that a double shot “significantly reduces the risk of contracting the virus and, if you do, [of] developing long-lasting symptoms’.
But she added: “Among our vulnerable, older adults and those living in deprived areas, the risk is still significant and they urgently need to be prioritized for second and booster vaccinations.”
Health Minister Sajid Javid said: ‘This research is encouraging and suggests that vaccines not only prevent deaths, but may also help prevent some of the longer lasting symptoms.
“We have invested £50 million in research to better understand the lasting effects of Covid and more than 80 long-term Covid assessment services have been opened across England as part of a £100 million expansion of care for those affected.
“It is clear that vaccines form a defense wall against the virus and are the best way to protect people from serious diseases. I encourage anyone who qualifies to come forward for both of their jabs as soon as possible.”