Vaccination doesn't protect against long-lasting Covid symptoms

AMSTERDAM - Almost half of Covid-19 patients still have symptoms like concentration problems and fatigue three months after infection - whether they've been vaccinated or not. Vaccinated people do get their sense of taste and smell back faster than non-vaccinated people, the public health institute RIVM found in its LongCOVID study, NOS reports.  


The RIVM surveyed 14,572 people who had the Alpha or Delta variant of the coronavirus between May and December 2021, including 9,166 people who signed up for the study shortly after testing positive.  


A third of Covid-19 patients still suffered from fatigue three months later. Sixteen percent still struggled with shortness of breath, 15 percent had concentration problems, and 13 percent had difficulty being in busy environments. Twelve percent still didn’t have much sense of smell three months later. 


The RIVM also had a control group of 5,406 people who hadn’t been infected with Covid-19 complete the questionnaire three months after a negative coronavirus test. About a quarter of them also had at least one of the symptoms usually linked to Long Covid.  But complaints are 1.5 times more common among former coronavirus patients. 


The RIVM can’t say how long people will struggle with symptoms after a coronavirus infection. “We will, therefore, continue to follow participants for a longer period of time, at least for a year or perhaps two,” Tessa van der Maarden, head of the LongCOVID study at the RIVM, said to NOS. The RIVM will also eventually add the results of people who got the Omicron variant of the virus. 


It is not clear how many people in the Netherlands suffer from Long Covid, also called post-Covid syndrome. This is partly because there is no unambiguous definition for the condition, so it is difficult to register. 

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