Vaccines are 20% to 50% less likely to develop long-term symptoms of COVID-19 after infection with Omicron than Delta

For adults vaccinated against COVID-19, the odds of developing long-term symptoms of COVID after infection with Omicron are approximately 20% to 50% lower than during the Delta epidemic, depending on age and time since vaccination. The findings come from a case-control observational study published in The Lancet by researchers at King’s College London. The study found that about 4.5% of Omicron cases had long-term symptoms of COVID, while 10.8% of Delta cases had long-term symptoms.

While this news may seem reassuring to those caring for people with Omicron infections, since the Omicron variant is far more contagious than the Delta variant, it’s just grim consolation for public health in general. “Much more people were infected with Omicron first than with Delta,” said Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at the Open University, in a statement. “Therefore, even during the epidemic of both variants, long-term symptoms of COVID were seen among those infected. As the researchers say (which is likely to be the case), the actual number of people with long-term symptoms of COVID after their first infection during the Omicron epidemic is still much higher than during the Delta variant.”

In the study, published in The Lancet, researchers examined self-reported symptoms of 56,003 British adults who were first infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the Omicron epidemic and 41,361 British adults who were first infected during the Delta epidemic. data. The researchers, led by Claire Steves, Senior Clinical Lecturer at King’s College London, defined prolonged COVID-19 symptoms as new or persistent symptoms four weeks or more after the onset of acute COVID-19, the National Institutes of Health and Care Excellence Guidelines define long-term symptoms of COVID.

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