Good and Not So Good News about Long COVID

A recent preprint from Israel has some encouraging news–and some not so encouraging news about long COVID and vaccination. The good news is that two or more doses (there was no attempt to break out two versus three doses) dramatically lowers long COVID symptoms in people who were not hospitalized for COVID, especially in the elderly (table 3):

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The not-so-good news is frequency at which symptoms are observed in people with two doses (table 2; not the entire table, but in order of common to less common symptoms; there isn’t much that can be said about the rare symptoms:

Screen Shot 2022-01-09 at 9.40.31 AM

For context, we need to remember that some people will develop these symptoms anyway: for example, the six percent of people who have weakness in the arms or legs is likely ‘overattributed’ to COVID. There also might be some sampling issues. Nonetheless, it really does seem that, even in vaccinated people, 0.5% to two percent of people who haven’t been hospitalized wind up with some nasty long-term shit (‘nasty long-term shit’ is a highly technical medical term)–and that is including a conservative ‘fudge factor.’

Hopefully, three doses will provide more protection, and maybe, if we’re lucky, Omicron doesn’t cause as much long COVID. Still seems like something to avoid if you can help it.

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3 Responses to Good and Not So Good News about Long COVID

  1. becca says:

    Weakness in arms or legs strikes me as deeply physiologically probable- why would you think not?

    The questions for me is whether it’s temporary or permanent, and whether it’s an autoimmune demyleination or whether it’s mitochondrial uncoupling poor muscle oxygen utilization.

    (yes, I know, it could just be deconditioning from illness. Time will tell what the various causes are. If it increases in prevalence over time, I’d look to the other explanations moreso than conditioning though)

  2. Susan D. Einbinder, PhD says:

    There is another pretty serious sampling issue unaddressed in your summary (but may be in the full study?). A lot of people got COVID and developed long-COVID before the vaccinations were available. Are they included in the study? If so, is that noted? Their symptoms should, if the vaccines – one, two, three – be either more in number and severity if, as findings show, the vaccines are effective, so that’s one thing. Another would be whether getting vaccinated after contracting long-COVID made a difference.

  3. Pingback: “Vaxxed and Done”, “Vaxxed and Cautious”, but No Mention of Vaxxed and Sick? | Mike the Mad Biologist

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