Vaccination reduces the risk of lung COVID, studies say

February 16, 2022

Vaccination against COVID-19 reduces the risk of developing long-term COVID-19 and improves long-term COVID-19 symptoms in those who were not vaccinated when infected, according to a new comprehensive assessment by the UK Health Security Agency.

The review includes data from 15 UK and international studies, with seven studies examining whether pre-infection COVID-19 vaccination protects against developing long-term COVID and seven studies examining the impact of vaccination in people who have had COVID-19 for a long time. One study examined both.

In six studies, those who received one or two vaccine doses before infection with the coronavirus were less likely to develop symptoms of long-term COVID after infection.

In two studies, fully vaccinated people were less likely than unvaccinated people to develop medium- or long-term symptoms, such as fatigue, headache, weakness in the arms and legs, persistent muscle pain, hair loss, dizziness, shortness of breath, loss of smell, or lung scarring .

In addition, three studies comparing long-term COVID symptoms before and after vaccination found that most people reported an improvement in symptoms after vaccination, either immediately or over several weeks. A few cases reported worsening of symptoms after vaccination.

“There is also some evidence that unvaccinated people with long-term COVID who were subsequently vaccinated had, on average, fewer long-term COVID symptoms, or fewer long-lasting COVID symptoms, than those who remained unvaccinated,” the review said.

Scientists don’t yet know why vaccination improves symptoms in some people, according to The Guardian. Additional research is being done.

“The term ‘prolonged COVID’ covers a wide range of post-COVID conditions and therefore we do not yet fully understand all the processes involved,” Deborah Dunn-Walters, chair of the COVID-19 Taskforce of the British Society for Immunology, told the Science Media Center.

“The immune system is thought to play a role in the development of symptoms in a significant number of cases, probably as a result of an overreactive and/or slightly misdirected immune response during the acute COVID infection,” she said.

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