April 12, 2024
COVID-19 Vaccines Demonstrate Effectiveness in Mitigating Long COVID Symptoms

COVID-19 Vaccines Demonstrate Effectiveness in Mitigating Long COVID Symptoms

New research conducted by the Nuffield Department of Orthopedics, Rheumatology, and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) at the University of Oxford has revealed the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing long COVID symptoms. While the vaccines have already proven their efficacy in preventing severe cases of the disease, their impact on long-term symptoms had remained uncertain. However, the NDORMS research team found that COVID-19 vaccination consistently reduced the risk of long COVID symptoms.

Professor Dani Prieto-Alhambra, an expert in pharmaco- and device epidemiology who led the study, explained the motivation behind their research: “Vaccines against COVID-19 were rapidly developed to tackle the pandemic, and to date, eight vaccines have received authorization from international regulators, including EMA and MHRA, with billions of doses delivered worldwide. These vaccines have proven to be highly effective in preventing severe COVID-19, but we know that around 1 in 10 people suffer from persistent symptoms, commonly known as long COVID. Therefore, we sought to assess if COVID vaccines had any impact on long COVID symptoms and obtained funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to conduct this study.”

The findings, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, were based on extensive analyses of primary care electronic health records from the United Kingdom, Spain, and Estonia. The team examined data from over 20 million individuals who had been vaccinated or remained unvaccinated and identified cases of long COVID based on specific criteria defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). The study focused on adults who had been registered for at least 180 days in each respective country.

Across the different cohorts analyzed, the researchers observed a significant decrease in the occurrence of long COVID among vaccinated individuals compared to those who were unvaccinated.

Dr. Annika Jodicke, senior pharmacoepidemiologist and study co-lead, highlighted the findings, stating, “We were able to demonstrate how both vaccines prevented the development of persistent COVID symptoms. Additionally, we compared different vaccinations and found that the BNT162b2 vaccine developed by BioNTech/Pfizer provided better protection against long COVID compared to the ChAdOx1 vaccine developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca.”

Dr. Marti Catala, Senior Data Scientist and lead author of the manuscript, added, “Thanks to our international collaborations, we were able to replicate our analyses using data from Spain and Estonia. Our findings were consistent across these three countries and among various populations, emphasizing the critical role that vaccination plays in protecting individuals from the long-term consequences of COVID-19.”

The study provides further evidence of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, not only in preventing severe cases of the disease but also in reducing the risk of long COVID symptoms. As vaccination campaigns continue worldwide, these findings underscore the importance of widespread vaccination in mitigating the long-term impact of the pandemic.

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1.      Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2.      We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it