Long Covid: Pfizer vaccine reduces persistent symptoms of the disease

Research from Israel shows the impact of vaccination on the long-term effects of the coronavirus. (Picture: Publicity)

Being vaccinated with at least two doses of Pfizer vaccines significantly reduces most Covid symptoms in the long term, shows a new study published in the scientific journal Nature npj Vaccines. The research points out that eight of the ten most frequently reported symptoms by those who develop the disease occurred with between 50% and 80% lower incidence in individuals who received at least two doses of the covid vaccine compared to those who did not. received no dose.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines long-term Covid as “a post-covid condition that occurs in people with a history of probable or confirmed infection with Sars-CoV-2, usually 3 months after the onset of infection. beginning of covid, with symptoms that have lasted for at least 3 months, at least 2 months and which cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis”.

The study was led by Professor Michael Edelstein of the Azrieli School of Medicine at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, in cooperation with infectious disease and information technology teams at three of the hospitals: Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Ziv Medical Center and Medical Center Galilee.

Nearly 3,500 adults in Israel participated in the study, conducted between July and November 2021. These people answered a survey available in four commonly spoken local languages ​​- Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and English – with a variety of questions about Covid conditions, vaccination status and symptoms they were experiencing.

More than half of the participants (2,447) reported no previous coronavirus infections, while 951 had been infected before. Of those infected, 637 (67%) received at least two doses of the vaccine. Of the 2,447 people who reported no previous infection, 21 (0.9%) received only one dose, 1,195 (48.8%) received two doses, 744 (30.4% ) received three doses and the others were not vaccinated (19.9%).

The researchers compared vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in terms of self-reported post-Covid symptoms. After adjusting for factors such as age and time between infection and survey response, they found that vaccination with two or more doses of the Pfizer vaccine was associated with a reduced risk of reporting symptoms. the most common of post-coronavirus infection. . Among those in the current study population, the most common symptoms reported — fatigue, headache, limb weakness, and persistent muscle pain — were reduced by 62%, 50%, 62%, and 66%, respectively. Shortness of breath was reduced by 80% and persistent muscle pain by 70%.

“We do not fully understand what is happening in the months and years after Covid in terms of physical and mental health and well-being,” Edelstein said, in a statement. “As long-term Covid seems to affect many people, it was important for us to see if vaccines could help alleviate symptoms. It is becoming increasingly clear that vaccines not only protect against disease but, as the results of this study suggest, the long-term effects of covid.

The extent to which vaccines protect against Covid in the long term has not been fully clarified. This study is the first in an ongoing project initiated by Edelstein to screen a large cohort of individuals from all sectors of Israel’s diverse society to understand the impact of vaccines on long-term quality of life, the different variants of covid and the symptoms of long covid.