Vaccine protection against ‘long COVID’

Updated: Jan 24

Although many studies suggest a reduction in cases of 'long COVID' proportionate to a decrease in overall cases of COVID-19 following vaccination, some studies – including one retrospective analysis of electronic health records from about 10,000 people with breakthrough infections – showed no protection against 'long COVID' following vaccination. Because the CDC is not tracking mild COVID-19 breakthrough illnesses, there is a high likelihood many cases leading to 'long COVID' are missing, thus not providing enough data for a meaningful study to determine vaccine protection against 'long COVID.'

A recent $1.15 billion program from the National Institute of Health (NIH) called RECOVER aims to enroll tens of thousands of people — including those with or without 'long COVID' after acute coronavirus infection and those who have not been infected — to track their symptoms. Through this program, scientists hope to learn more about 'long COVID' pathology and better define the condition within the four years of the study.

The scientific community is concerned as the priority of vaccinations is putting COVID-19 testing on the backburner and impairing efforts to determine the influence of vaccination on 'long COVID' as lab confirmations of COVID-19 are lacking.

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