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Coronavirus: Can fully vaccinated people develop long Covid?

2 weeks ago 13
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01/6Are you still at risk of long COVID if you have been vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccination has minimized many risks and complications associated with the infection. Even with breakthrough cases, and some chances of contracting COVID-19 possible, it is now known that most vaccinated people, who do get COVID-19 have a considerably lower viral load, milder symptoms, decreased risk of severe complications, and most of all, could also recover quicker.

But could someone who is vaccinated suffer from long-term effects of a COVID-19 infection?

Long COVID, as the phenomenon has emerged continues to be one of the most confusing long-term health effects associated with COVID-19 infection. While the risk tends to be higher for those who suffer from severe illness, even mild or asymptomatic people could continue to have some lingering symptoms. So, what does it mean for someone with a breakthrough case?

If you have been vaccinated and get a mild infection- could you still be prone to long COVID and other related complications?

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02/6Why is long COVID linked to coronavirus infection?

Long COVID is described as a set of lingering symptoms of the infection, which continue to impact a patient's health and overall well-being weeks or months after testing negative.

While some of the symptoms are linked to the present viral debris and widespread inflammation caused by the virus, many viral diseases are known to cause lingering symptoms as well. However, the impact of long COVID is so far, the most severe. Some of the symptoms that could affect a person suffering from long COVID include persistent cough, breathlessness, chest pain, digestive ailments, weakness, fatigue, myalgia, anxiety, insomnia etc.

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03/6If you have been vaccinated, how well protected are you?

Vaccines considerably bring down the risk of infection. That being said, they do not fully protect you, and given the variants in circulation right now, there's a high risk that exists for someone who has just been partially vaccinated.

Post full vaccination, when the immunity is said to peak, the risk of infection, as well as outcomes minimize well. From a low risk of hospitalization to severe disease, vaccination can very well save you from a lot of ill-effects. However, there very much is the risk of catching the infection, developing some symptoms is possible and hence, in theory, it is absolutely possible to develop long COVID too.

However, there isn't evidence-backed data present to determine the risks, and the chances yet.

Despite this, scientists do remain hopeful that COVID vaccines, much like other vaccines, could work their way to reduce the likelihood, duration of symptoms and long-term complications. How well it works is something practically, we'll only learn in the coming months.

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04/6Why is long COVID so critical and risky?

Despite a COVID-19 infection tagging along severe risks of infection and threats, the confusing nature of long COVID-19 symptoms is troubling medical experts worldwide. Not only do we have no conclusive evidence as to what causes it, long COVID can also take a longer while to recover from, with no medicinal help available for the same.

Post-COVID-syndrome and complications also do not have enough help available at this moment. Hence, doctors term that without access to care facilities, long COVID and lingering complications will still leave recovered people in chronic pain and need of care, and may even turn into an epidemic. Therefore, while we study the efficacy and workability of COVID-19 vaccines, experts feel it is incredibly important to study the risks of long COVID too, with vaccine administration.

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05/6The risk of long COVID also depends on a number of factors

While vaccines limit infectious symptoms and viral load which determine long COVID, it is also important to remember that there are certainly other factors that are linked to post-COVID risk.

As per experts, age, gender as well as pre-existing conditions are factors to be looked into. Women, people over the age of 50, people with a high BMI, frail immunity and conditions that compromise health increase one's risk of post-COVID complication. Hence, for a person with considerable risk factors, the risk of long COVID-19 can still be on the higher side, despite being immunized.

The symptoms a person exhibits in the first week could also hold clues to the risk and duration of long COVID.

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06/6Can vaccines help with existing long COVID symptoms?

Even with a low risk of post-COVID-complication post-vaccination, there is some evidence to suggest that on the contrary, getting vaccinated can help lower severity for those suffering from troubling long COVID symptoms. The matter is subject to ongoing study, but scientists are hopeful that getting vaccinated could also prove beneficial for those battling long COVID symptoms.

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