As the world continues to carry on living a new type of normal and UK COVID cases have started to rise into the Autumn and Winter of 2022, what protection against developing long COVID if any, can you expect to receive from having your COVID jabs? This question, of course, is only relevant to people who do not already have long COVID.
Many people are asking how well, if, at all, vaccines protect against long COVID after infection. So, here at The Long Haul Lounge, we have collated the latest advice and statistics for you. Long COVID is a massive medical disaster and people need to do all they can to avoid it. In the UK, 151 million COVID vaccines have been administered over the past couple of years, with 75.5% of the entire population being fully vaccinated. With the majority of people choosing to take one of the six approved UK vaccinations, there are still lots of questions about the advantages of being dosed up and people need to know if there is a long COVID-safe vaccine, with more than 2 million in the UK alone are suffering from the effects of long COVID symptoms.
Do vaccines protect against long COVID?
If you are worried about the effects of COVID and are trying to weigh up the pros and cons of being vaccinated, the general advice is that vaccinations do provide an increase in protection from long COVID.
UK data indicates that even though vaccinated people may have breakthrough infections, they are at less risk of developing Long COVID than those who are not vaccinated. Those who are fully vaccinated for COVID will have a reduced likelihood of developing long COVID. Leona Horwitz, professor of population health and medicine at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, has commented on the following:
“We also now have a lot of evidence that vaccination reduces your risk of long COVID – probably because it reduces your risk of severe disease.”
This preventive effect of vaccination is, however, in dispute, as some consider it likely to be around 80% protection whereas other studies have reported that long COVID is only prevented in 15% of vaccinated people. It is thought that the definition and exact understanding of how COVID vaccinations affect long-term cases is because the condition itself is still hard to explain. Whilst for many, if they are still symptomatic after twelve weeks, it is clear that long COVID has become an unwanted friend, for others, the symptoms may be sparse and sporadic, making it hard to pinpoint.
A UK study in January 2022 found that 50% of patients were protected against long COVID when combined with implementing other COVID safety measures. The generally accepted medical consensus is that the best way to stay protected is to have a vaccine and act safely in everyday life. It would also seem that the effectiveness is also different based on patients’ ages, with long COVID being most prevented in people aged over 60.
Of course, other factors, such as existing health conditions and level of exposure, will also affect the effectiveness of vaccinations against long COVID. Whilst the exact success rates are unknown, the vaccine’s aim of preventing people from getting seriously ill seems to be working. UK hospitalisations have continued to be much less than during the pandemic’s peak, which is attributed to higher vaccination rates.
How long does COVID last if I am vaccinated?
Whilst the length of cases can differ from person to person; the general rule is that a positive case can last for two weeks. If after twelve weeks you are still suffering from the symptoms and side effects of COVID, you are likely suffering from long COVID.
The available anti-COVID vaccinations at present are not designed to prevent you from contracting the virus, but instead, lessen the symptoms you will experience. If you are vaccinated, your COVID symptoms should hopefully not be as strong. This means you are better placed to look into healthy, natural and holistic approaches to getting fitter and stronger during and after your infection with COVID. Our AntiViral Life™ programme for Long COVID, as well as our Breathing for long COVID and our Yoga for Long COVID programmes, provide everything you need to take back control of the initial infection or post-Covid syndrome.
What symptoms can the vaccination protect me against?
All forms of the COVID vaccines are not live, which means they cannot infect you with the virus. Instead, they are designed to help your body build up the antibodies to combat the virus if you become infected. The vaccines will all help to fight the following symptoms, which are synonymous with the infection. When applied to long COVID, they can reduce the severity of these symptoms that can cause dangerous health issues beyond the parameters of COVID itself.
The main symptoms that COVID vaccines lessen are the following:
51% of those suffering from long-Covid say they suffer from fatigue, making it the most commonly experienced symptom. 46% of people can feel the effects daily, which causes massive knock-on effects to the most normal tasks, such as working or carrying out chores.
A fever is a sign that your body is working to fight off the virus. This can cause many issues, including dizziness and confusion, which can leave patients feeling ill for days at a time.
Joint and muscle pain
12% of patients have been recorded as suffering from ‘disabling fatigue, musculoskeletal pain’ even six months after diagnosis. This can lead to much worse conditions which can take longer to recover from if not prevented in the first place.
Around 21% of adults who have experienced COVID, both regular and long-term, are said to have suffered from depression and/or anxiety. Whilst you may not have considered this a traditional COVID symptom, it is important for the vaccination to alleviate as it costs the NHS around £41.8 billion per year to treat.
Loss of smell and taste
Whilst around 79% of patients are expected to recover their sense of taste and smell completely, 21% are left without the senses for an unknown period. The vaccines are designed not to allow COVID to impact the senses as this is one of the hardest things to treat as often the patient has to use time as a healer.
How else can I protect myself against the effects of long COVID?
If you have had your vaccination but are looking for other ways to keep COVID at bay, you might want to adopt some of our top tips below:
- Make sure to keep on top of COVID safety when visiting busy places or travelling abroad, by wearing a mask and washing your hands. As life has almost returned to normal, it is easy to forget what the risks are, but the fact remains that the best form of treatment is prevention.
- Focus on building your physical strength and improving your overall health, as this will mean if you do contract COVID you are ready to fight off the effects. We are huge advocates of using Yoga for this purpose, as it is a form of exercise which strengthens and heals both the body and the mind. Our Yoga for Long COVID programme is designed to give people the tools they need to both recover and prevent COVID from taking hold. The muscle-toning stretches and mind-building meditation techniques allow your whole being to gain resilience. Yoga also improves blood flow, loosens joints, calms and rejuvenates the nervous system and strengthens the muscles of breathing and the lungs.
- Retrain your Breath. Breathing is super important in COVID as the nasty virus attacks the lungs and chest tissue making it difficult for some people even to take a full breath. Breathing as a form of exercise is important as the lungs can reduce in size if we don’t breathe well and the muscles involved in breathing can quickly weaken. Our Breathing for Long COVID programme allows people to take back control of their breathing by learning how to build long-term lung strength. As well as feeling calmer, this also means your oxygen levels can be restored to normal and your sinuses do not suffer from chronic inflammation.
- Focus on mental agility, as mind over matter can make a huge difference when it comes to recovering from long COVID.
In summary, research as of now, suggests that your risk of developing long Covid is reduced by vaccination with anti-COVID vaccines. However, to stay safe and reliant, focus on the kinds of natural wellness-boosting exercises and lifestyle choices that we offer in our AntiViral Life™ programme for long COVID.