Doctors Says Risk of Long-Haul COVID For the Vaccinated is ‘Very Small’
Coronavirus infections leading to long-haul Covid-19 in fully vaccinated people are probably very rare, experts say. But because the vaccines have been proven to dramatically cut the risk of Covid-19 infection in general, the shots remain “one of the best ways to lower your risk of getting post-Covid syndrome, according to those same experts. The Covid-19 vaccines have been shown to significantly reduce infections, as well as the risk of severe consequences of the illness, including hospitalization and death. That means that if a fully vaccinated person does become infected, the illness is much more likely to be mild.
It is estimated that up to a third of Covid-19 cases may result in long-term illness. That suggests that of the nearly 34 million people diagnosed with Covid-19 in the United States, about 11 million may endure the consequences of the illness for months or years. And with the United States currently experiencing what the CDC has dubbed a “pandemic of the unvaccinated“, the country may see a significant rise in those numbers by the end of the summer.
For many Covid-19 long-haulers, it was a mild infection that set off their lingering symptoms, leaving many to wonder whether a mild breakthrough case in someone who is fully vaccinated could do the same. It is theoretically possible, experts say, for that to occur. But doctors treating Covid-19 patients across the country contend that it doesn’t appear to be a significant risk.
There’s still so much we don’t know about long-haul COVID. I sadly suspect we’ll be finding out more in the months and years to come.
— Mela Storm #Resistance! NO SURRENDER (@StormMela) July 13, 2021
Breakthrough infections resulting in long Covid-19 are “quite rare,” said Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn, an occupational medicine specialist who works with post-Covid-19 syndrome patients at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Vanichkachorn’s observation, while based only on what he’s seen in the clinic, is echoed at other post-Covid-19 clinics. But for many Covid-19 long-haulers, it was a mild infection that set off their lingering symptoms, leaving many to wonder whether a mild breakthrough case in someone who is fully vaccinated could do the same. Lyons cautioned that the lack of observed post-Covid-19 cases in vaccinated people “just might be a lag time issue.” Because Covid-19 vaccinations started rolling out in larger numbers within the past three to four months, it is possible that not enough time has passed to identify long-haul patients following their vaccinations.
My conclusion on all of this, is that we really need more data on long haul covid in adolescents and younger children. The data on adults, including younger adults are really concerning. These likely extend somewhat to adolescents so vaccinating them a priority, possibly younger https://t.co/moUaVK0WRJ
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) July 14, 2021
Because the vaccines have been proven to dramatically cut the risk of Covid-19 infection in general, the shots remain “one of the best ways to lower your risk of getting post-Covid syndrome,” Vanichkachorn said. But plenty of Americans will still live with some aftereffects.
“While everyone else is moving on with life,” Longo said, the long-haulers “are still stuck in a rut struggling with this virus.”