Can I get a “long COVID” if I am infected after the vaccination?
It’s not clear, but researchers are studying the chances of long-term symptoms developing in anyone who may be infected after vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccines used around the world are effective in preventing serious illness and death from coronavirus, but some people get infected after injections. With such “groundbreaking” cases, health experts say vaccines should help reduce the severity of any disease people suffer from.
But researchers are also looking at whether these groundbreaking cases could lead to a lengthy COVID-19, that is, when people have persistent, reappeared, or new symptoms a month or more after infection. The disease can develop after initial severe infections or even in those who initially had mild or no symptoms.
Some estimates indicate that about 30% of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients develop long-term symptoms, including shortness of breath, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, and brain fog. Similar symptoms can also develop after other viral infections.
A recently published small Israeli study found an apparent long duration of COVID-19 in several health workers with breakthrough infections. They developed mild symptoms including cough, fatigue and weakness which persisted for at least six weeks.
Larger studies are underway.
Researchers aren’t sure why the symptoms persist, but believe some symptoms reflect scarring in the lungs or damage to other organs from severe initial infections. Another theory suggests that the virus can persist in the body and trigger an immune response that causes symptoms.
The AP answers your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Send them to: FactCheck@AP.org. Read more here:
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