By Gwyn Wright via SWNS
Vaccinated people are still at "significant "risk from long COVID-19, warns a new study.
Researchers who analyzed the health records of US Army veterans found the double jabbed were just 15 percent less likely to get the debilitating post-vital syndrome than their unvaccinated peers.
The condition affects between eight and 12 percent of jabbed people who catch the virus, the researchers say.
Long COVID-19 can leave people with nasty lingering symptoms that can affect the heart, lungs and brain.
People can struggle to breathe, get extremely tired and suffer from brain fog if they do not fully recover from COVID-19 after two weeks.
It can also affect people’s kidneys, mental health, metabolism, digestive system and skeleton and can cause blood clots.
Vaccines were found to be more effective against some of the worst symptoms of long COVID-19.
They cut lung disorders by 49 percent and blood clotting disorders by 56 percent among the jabbed.
Immunocompromised people who had taken the vaccine were at a 17 percent higher risk from long COVID-19 than vaccinated people without pre-existing conditions.
Vaccinated people who were hospitalized with the virus were also two and a half times more likely to die from the novel disease than from flu.
Jabbed people who had had the virus were significantly more likely to end up with heart and lung diseases, brain conditions and kidney failure than a group of more than five million people whose health was tracked before the pandemic began.
The research team from Washington University in St Louis, Missouri classed people as fully vaccinated if they had received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson jab.
The three vaccines are the most commonly used shots in the US.
The researchers did not know how many vaccinated participants had received boosters.
For the study, the team looked at data on more than 113,000 unvaccinated people and more than 33,000 vaccinated people who caught the virus between January and December last year.
Their records were found in a huge database containing the medical records of 13 million US veterans.
Patients were mainly older white men but they also looked at data which included the records of more than 1.3 million women and adults of all races and ages.
The study did not include data about the Omicron variant because it started spreading very late last year.
The researchers say new nasal vaccines and other treatments are urgently needed to reduce people’s risk from long COVID-19 because the virus will continue to circulate for years.
Study author Dr Ziyad Al-Aly said: “Vaccinations remain critically important in the fight against COVID-19.
“Vaccinations reduce the risk of hospitalization and dying from COVID-19, but vaccines seem to only provide modest protection against long COVID.
“Now that we understand that COVID-19 can have lingering health consequences even among the vaccinated, we need to move toward developing mitigation strategies that can be implemented for the longer term since it does not appear that COVID-19 is going away any time soon.
“We need to urgently develop and deploy additional layers of protection that could be sustainably implemented to reduce the risk of long COVID.
“Getting COVID-19, even among vaccinated people, seems almost unavoidable nowadays.
“Our current approach will likely leave a large number of people with chronic and potentially disabling conditions that have no treatments.
“This will not only affect people’s health but their ability to work, life expectancy, economic productivity and societal well-being.
“We need to have a candid national conversation about the consequences of our current approach.
“Let’s say SARS-CoV-2 is here for 10 years.
“People are sick and tired of masking and social distancing, and it’s simply not sustainable to ask that they continue to do so.
“We need to come up with additional layers of protection that allow us to resume normal life while co-existing with the virus.
“Current vaccines are only part of the solution.
“The constellation of findings shows that the burden of death and disease experienced by people with breakthrough COVID-19 infections is not trivial.
“People recovering from breakthrough COVID-19 infection should continue to monitor their health and see a health-care provider if lingering symptoms make it difficult to carry out daily activities.
The findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.
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