Coronavirus vaccines may not prevent many symptoms of long-term covid, research suggests

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A large U.S. study of the vaccine against long-term covid showed that the shots had only a slight protective effect: vaccination seemed to reduce the risk of lung and blood clotting disorders, but did little to protect against most other symptoms.

New paper, published Wednesday In Natural Medicine, it is part of a series of studies conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs on the effect of coronavirus, and is based on 33,940 people who became infected after the vaccine was introduced.

The data confirm that many studies show that the vaccine greatly reduces the risk of death or serious illness. But there was more ambiguity about the long covid.

Six months after the initial diagnosis of covida, the people in the study who received the vaccine slightly reduced their risk of long-term covid – 15% overall. The biggest benefit was that it reduced blood clotting and lung complications. But there was no difference between those who were vaccinated and those who were not vaccinated, the longer-term risks of neurological problems, digestive symptoms, kidney failure, and other conditions.

“This was disappointing,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, VA author and chief of the Saint Louis Health System and head of research and development. “I was hoping to see that vaccines offer more protection, especially considering that vaccines are our only line of defense today.”

“Long Covid” refers to the constellation of symptoms that many people report as having initial infections and reported months later. At the beginning of the pandemic, some patients who complained of persistent symptoms were ruled out by doctors who thought the outbreaks could have been psychological. But the situation has become a major concern for the medical community.

For these three long-haul carriers, the debilitating symptoms and fatigue have prevented them from returning to work, and in return, they are struggling to navigate the new normal. (Video: Drea Cornejo, Joy Yi, Colin Archdeacon / The Washington Post, Photo: Carolyn Van Houten / The Washington Post)

The World Health Organization has defined post-covid syndrome as symptoms that last at least two months and cannot be explained by alternative diagnoses. He cited evidence suggesting that 20 percent of the half a billion people infected with coronavirus worldwide may have medium- and long-term effects.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new estimates for the syndrome pathway in the United States, suggesting that covid affects one in five adults under the age of 65 and one in four in their 65s or older. People in both age groups who were uninfected were twice as likely to have respiratory symptoms and lung problems, including pulmonary embolism, the CDC found. Older people were at higher risk for kidney failure, type 2 diabetes, neurological diseases, and mental health problems.

The Veterans Affairs study is believed to be the largest analysis of long-term kovid in the United States, based on medical records, in patients with two doses of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or one Johnson & one dose. Johnson’s vaccine. It does not assess the effect of booster shots. Although the population studied had a broad ethnic and racial age and background, the United States was older, whiter, and more masculine than the general population.

The VA study also did not say how different variants can change the risk of long-term covid. These advanced infections, for example, occurred at a time when alpha, delta, and earlier variants were high in the United States. It does not take the omicron variant and the period when its sub-variants began to circulate at the end of 2021.

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The findings add to the debate over similar analyzes from the UK, Israel and other countries that have shown conflicting results as to whether vaccines protect against long-term covid.

A British study published in the medical journal Lancet, for example, showed that the risk of a 50% reduction in the number of people who were vaccinated was based on the self-information of an application. On the other hand, researchers at Oxford University found that a document based on electronic records in the United States found that the vaccine did not seem to reduce the risk of long-term covid for most symptoms.

The question of vaccines and long covid has been critical for doctors. Some patients said they were cured by a vaccine, while others avoided shooting for fear of symptoms.

Igor Koralnik, head of Neuro-Infectious Diseases at Northwestern Medicine, recent research suggests that neither is true. In an article published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology on Tuesday, Koralnik and his colleagues saw that 77 percent of the 52 covid patients who were still being followed they were vaccinated against coronavirus, but the shots did not show a positive or negative effect on cognitive function or fatigue.

“There is a neutral impact of vaccination. He did not heal the long covid. It didn’t take long for the covid to get worse, ”Koralnik said.

Christina Martin, an advanced practice nurse at the COVID Clinic for Acute COVID Syndrome at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, said since November her staff have noticed a “worrying trend” in vaccinating vaccine-infected infections and developing long covid.

When the clinic was set up a year ago, he said, they expected to see fewer new patients by then as more people were vaccinated. Unfortunately, they have seen the opposite, as the number of patients increases.

“Now we feel that the long covid is here to stay. … This will have profound implications for our health care system and resources,” Martin said.

David Putrino, a longtime covid researcher in New York’s Mount Sinai Health System Rehabilitation Innovation Director, shares these concerns. He worries that public health leaders are taking the current rise seriously enough because they are discounting the risks of the long covid.

Putrino said long-term appointments at his medical center’s covid clinic continue to increase and he does not anticipate a slowdown any time soon. The clinic has seen about 2,500 patients since it opened in May 2020.

“We have failed in our health posts that death is not the only serious result of a covid-19 infection,” Putrino said. “. . . I am very concerned that what this will do will lead us to follow up on this massive disability event that we are seeing with a long covid. “

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