Vaccines provide benefit against severe, long-term symptoms of coronavirus

Mayo Clinic reports an additional benefit of vaccination beyond protection against COVID-19 infection — a reduced likelihood of developing severe symptoms if people end up with COVID for a long time.

The study provides some of the first evidence for the long-held assumption that vaccination reduces the severity of coronavirus infections, which in turn predicts whether people will experience severe symptoms after coronavirus.

Long-term COVID patients in the Mayo study were less likely to develop abdominal symptoms if vaccinated, which is a big deal, said Dr. Greg Vanishkachorn, medical director of Mayo’s COVID Rehabilitation Activities Program.

“It sounds ridiculous. Abdominal pain? That’s the improvement?” He said. “It can be very devastating… I have some people who can’t eat two or three different foods because of a food allergy, even years after they’ve been infected.”

the study In the Journal of Investigative Medicine, he comes amid low but persistent levels of coronavirus in Minnesota, where hospitalizations have increased since the chance germs mixed in on Independence Day. 140 hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Minnesota on Tuesday rose Up from 41 on July 3, but well below the state’s epidemiological record of 1,864 in late 2020.

Coronavirus levels are still low, but are back to where they were three months ago. It is unclear where they go from here. the latest samples In 36 wastewater treatment plants in Minnesota, small increases in viral material were found in some areas but no change in others. Update on the Twin Cities sewage levels It is scheduled for Friday, after a slight change last week.

Currently, most cases of coronavirus have mild symptoms that are clinically treated, but the 18 patients at HealthPartners Hospitals have respiratory problems associated with the disease, said Dr. Mark Sanes, an infectious disease specialist with the Bloomington Healthcare System.

“Because we are now only testing symptomatic patients, it is likely that the hospital numbers reflect individuals who have been admitted with respiratory symptoms of Covid,” he said. “They can still be hospitalized for other illnesses such as appendicitis or kidney stones, but they have some symptoms that prompt us to test them.”

Nearly six in 10 adults in Minnesota have had COVID-19 since the outbreak began in early 2020, and one in four adults have ended up with long-term COVID, according to the Survey results Published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A prolonged coronavirus is loosely defined by US health authorities as the persistence of symptoms for four weeks or more after infection.

Minnesota’s overall coronavirus rate in this survey is likely to be an undercount based on studies that check random blood samples for antibodies against coronavirus, but the long-run coronavirus rate is the best estimate available at the moment. The Minnesota Department of Health completes two telephone surveys to come up with their own state estimates.

Vanishkachorn said the results of the Mayo study support the pursuit of a COVID-19 vaccination to protect against infection and long-term COVID-19. Federal officials are expected to authorize a new booster dose that would protect against prevalent XBB strains of the coronavirus circulating in the United States.

“This gives us even more reason to think that vaccination is really important,” he said.

The study included 477 Mayo Clinic patients treated for long-term COVID-19 between May 2021 and July 2022. Just over half had been vaccinated and were less likely to report “loss of smell, chest pain, dizziness, numbness, shortness of breath, tremors, and fatigue.” Weakness,” according to the Mayo statement. Rates of fatigue, muscle pain, and irregular heartbeat were similar between the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups.

The study found that the vaccine was significantly more likely to protect people with long-term Covid from abdominal pain, but it came with limitations that prevented researchers from proving its effect on other symptoms. Vaccinated patients were more likely to seek prompt treatment for COVID-19, Vanishkachorn said, and this haste may have played a role in reducing the severity of long-term COVID later on.

The study also focused on patients who contracted COVID when the delta-severe coronavirus variant was dominant in late 2021. Later variants produced lower rates of long-acting coronavirus, regardless of vaccination.

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