Do Vaccines Protect Against Long Covid?

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As the pandemic enters its third year, long Covid has emerged as an increasingly important concern. And many people are wondering whether getting a Covid shot can reduce their chances of developing long-term symptoms.

What does the research show so far?

The jury is still out, but a growing number of studies suggest that getting a Covid vaccine can reduce — though not eliminate — the risk of longer-term symptoms.

The United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency conducted an analysis of eight studies that had been published on the topic before mid-January. It reported that six of the studies found that vaccinated people who became infected with the coronavirus were less likely than unvaccinated patients to develop symptoms of long Covid. The remaining two studies found that vaccination did not appear to conclusively reduce the chances of developing long Covid.

How much protection could vaccines offer, according to the studies that found benefit?

Some study results suggest substantial protection, while others find only a slight benefit.

One large study of electronic records of patients in the U.S. Veterans Health Administration found that vaccinated Covid patients had only a 13 percent lower risk than unvaccinated patients of having symptoms six months later.