New Delhi: Vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus provides moderate protection against long COVID which presents persistent health problems in the months after the infection, a study has found. The finding, published in the journal Pediatrics, also shows that vaccination has a stronger effect in adolescents, who have a higher risk of developing long COVID than young children. While overall severity of COVID-19 has been lower in children than adults, the burden of long COVID has been difficult to accurately describe since the symptoms can vary widely and the exact ways the virus causes them are unknown, the researchers said.
Some symptoms include brain fog, dyspnea, gastrointestinal dysfunction, generalised pain and fatigue, while others are more acute, like inflammatory reaction or heart problems, they said. Lead study author Hanieh Razzaghi from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), US, said,
To date, no studies have assessed clinical data for large, diverse groups of children to address this important question. Using clinical data from across health care networks allowed us to have a large enough sample of patients to identify rare effects of the virus and its impact on children.
Data from 17 health systems were used to assess vaccine effectiveness against long COVID in two groups of patients between five and 11 years old and 12 and 17 years old, respectively, as well as the time period in which patients were impacted.
The vaccination rate was 56 per cent in the cohort of 1,037,936 (over 10 lakh) children.
The incidence of probable long COVID was 4.5 per cent among patients with COVID-19, though only 0.7 per cent of patients were clinically diagnosed with long COVID.
The study estimated effectiveness of the vaccine within 12 months of administration as 35.4 per cent against probable long COVID and 41.7 per cent against diagnosed long COVID.
The estimate was higher in adolescents compared with younger children, and higher at six months (61.4 per cent) but decreased to 10.6 per cent at 18 months.
Children who were vaccinated after recovering from COVID-19 also appeared to benefit, with vaccine effectiveness of 46 per cent against probable long COVID after a subsequent episode of COVID-19. Senior study author Charles Bailey, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at CHOP, said,
This study provides us with important data showing the protective effects of the vaccine against long-haul COVID and suggests that this protection is mostly from preventing visible infections. We hope this means that as vaccines are improved to be more effective against current strains of SARS-CoV-2, their protection against long COVID will get better, too.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.