Some Sort of Good News About Long COVID and Vaccination

At least in relative terms. Unlike the U.S., the UK has been monitoring random population samples through its UK COVID-19 Infection Survey (run by the Office for National Statistics, ONS) and samples over 500,000 people. A recent study reports the frequency of long COVID as defined by the following question:

“Would you describe yourself as having ‘Long Covid’, that is, you are still experiencing symptoms more than 4 weeks after you first had COVID-19, that are not explained by something else?”

This is similar to a U.S. study I discussed last week, but they also report results for a follow up question:

“Do you have any physical or mental health conditions or illnesses lasting or expected to last 12 months or more (excluding any long-lasting COVID- 19 symptoms)?” and “If yes, do any of your conditions or illnesses reduce your ability to carry-out day-to-day activities (a lot, a little, or not at all)?”

Unlike the study I mentioned last week, the data don’t include much Omicron wave (i.e., data were only analyzed through November 2021).

First, the good news: two doses lowered the likelihood of long COVID by 41%, and lowered the percent of those with severe long COVID by around thirty seven percent. That said, the not-so-good news is that 9.5% of vaccinated people had long COVID symptoms and 5.5% of vaccinated people had activity-limiting symptoms.

Hopefully, the Omicron variants don’t cause as much long COVID, but even if the rate were halved, that’s still a lot of disabled people. And we do need to desperately ramp up vaccine uptake (among many other things).

I want to opt out of this experiment.

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2 Responses to Some Sort of Good News About Long COVID and Vaccination

  1. coloncancercommunity says:

    The biggest issue in the numbers for long COVID is the overall volume of cases. Granted, the news is good. But the news is bad because no one is taking precautions. There was a Brookings study that had the numbers at ~16 million Americans dealing with long COVID and somewhere between 3-4 million unable to work because of long COVID. And apparently, those numbers continue to climb.

    So it is impacting employment. Maybe some CEOs will get on board. Greed might work for average people this time. Employee shortages push wages higher. Can’t have that.

  2. Pingback: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over: The ‘End’ of the Pandemic and Long COVID | Mike the Mad Biologist

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