Long COVID-19 unlikely among fully vaccinated, physicians say

If a person is fully vaccinated and develops a breakthrough COVID-19 infection, early trends indicate it's unlikely they'll experience long-haul symptoms, NBC News reported July 15. 

While it's possible and more research is needed, some physicians working at post-COVID-19 clinics say they haven't seen demand from patients who've been fully vaccinated. 

At Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic's post-COVID-19 program, it's been "quite rare," Greg Vanichkachorn, MD, an occupational therapist who works with long-hauler patients, told NBC

Although anecdotal reports, physicians leading such clinics at Tulane University in New Orleans and Washington University in St. Louis haven't seen patients come in after a breakthrough infection either. 

Additionally, early research hasn't indicated there's a significant risk. 

"Of the people who get vaccinated and end up with a breakthrough infection, their risk of coming back to the clinic with some long COVID-19 manifestation is very, very small," Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, clinical epidemiologist who is conducting research on the risk of long-COVID-19 among fully vaccinated veterans, told the news outlet. 

It's possible, however, that it's still too early to fully understand how vaccines may affect long COVID-19 symptoms. 

"I think the trends are going to only really start bearing out in the next six months," Natasha Altman, MD, cardiologist at UC Health University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, told NBC

Still, given the vaccines' efficacy in preventing a COVID-19 infection to begin with, they remain "one of the best ways to lower your risk of getting post-COVID-19 syndrome," Dr. Vanichkachorn said.


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