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Do COVID-19 Vaccines Increase Risk Of Long COVID?!

Do COVID-19 vaccines really increase the risk of long COVID symptoms?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : COVID-19 Vaccines Increase Risk Of Long COVID!

The Children’s Health Defense (CHD) activist group, which is chaired by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., just posted an article suggesting that a study has shown that people who received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine may be more likely to get long COVID symptoms than people who received one or no dose at all.

Here is an excerpt from the CHD article (archive). Please feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

Two Doses of COVID Vaccine May Increase Risk of Long COVID Symptoms

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Truth : COVID-19 Vaccines Do Not Increase Risk Of Long COVID!

Let’s take a closer look at the various claims in the article, and find out what the facts really are!

Fact #1 : Arjun et. al. Study Was Published In 2022

Let me start by pointing out that the Arjun et. al. study mentioned in the CHD article is more than a year old, being published in PLOS ONE in December 2022. You can read it in full here.

Why would the Children’s Health Defense dig up this study from 2022, when several newer studies showed that COVID-19 vaccines significantly reduced the risk of long COVID?

Fact #2 : Study Did Not Conclude Vaccines Increase Long COVID Risk

While the Arjun et. al. study results show that receiving two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine was a predictor of long COVID, the authors did not reach the conclusion, calling it “an observational paradox” that might be explained by vaccination patients more likely to survive COVID-19 infections.

This collider bias, they pointed out, was to be expected since their sample only included patients with access to hospital care. In fact, their study showed that patients who received hospital care were associated with a higher risk of developing long COVID symptoms!

An observational paradox in our study was that the participants who took two doses of COVID-19 vaccination had higher odds of developing Long COVID. It could be due to better survival in vaccinated individuals who may continue to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 disease.

We could not find any interaction effect of COVID-19 vaccination and acute COVID-19 severity on causing Long COVID.

This association might have also arisen due to Collider bias [40]. The Collider bias might have operated in this case since the sample included only COVID-19 positive tested patients who accessed the hospital (healthcare workers included) making the sample inherently biased to derive such conclusions.

They also pointed out that other studies have shown that COVID-19 vaccination reduced long COVID risks. So why would anyone use their paper to draw a completely different conclusion?

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Fact #3 : Other Factors Were Far More Significant

If you read the Arjun et. al. study, you will notice (see results) that it actually found that other factors were more strongly associated with a higher risk of long COVID symptoms:

In other words – you are more likely to get long COVID, if you experience moderate or severe COVID-19. Which means the benefits of vaccination still outweighs the risks.

Fact #4 : Newer Studies Show Vaccines Greatly Reduce Long COVID Risk

Interestingly, this CHD article came just after Scientific American posted its article on how several new studies show how getting multiple COVID-19 vaccine doses “dramatically lowers long COVID risk“.

A growing consensus is emerging that receiving multiple doses of the COVID vaccine before an initial infection can dramatically reduce the risk of long-term symptoms. Although the studies disagree on the exact amount of protection, they show a clear trend: the more shots in your arm before your first bout with COVID, the less likely you are to get long COVID.

One meta-analysis of 24 studies published in October, for example, found that people who’d had three doses of the COVID vaccine were 68.7 percent less likely to develop long COVID compared with those who were unvaccinated.

In short – newer studies show that COVID-19 vaccines not only protect against long COVID, the protection increases with each additional dose!

Therefore, if you are worried about long COVID, you should definitely be up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccinations!

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Fact #5 : Long COVID More Common In Unvaccinated People

According to Scientific American, the prevalence of long COVID is significantly greater in unvaccinated people, compared to people who had two or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Again, it clearly shows that COVID-19 vaccines have a significant protective effect against long COVID.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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