Close up of a man holding his head on black.

Patients who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are much less likely to report having long-term effects of the disease, investigators report.

Study participants included nearly 3,500 adults in Israel who were surveyed between July and November 2021. Compared to individuals who remained unvaccinated, those who had at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccines were 50% to 80% less likely to say they experienced the most commonly reported long COVID symptoms, the results revealed.

These symptoms included fatigue, headache, limb weakness and persistent muscle pain, which were reduced by 62%, 50%, 62% and 66%, respectively in those who had two  or more vaccine doses compared to their unvaccinated peers. Shortness of breath was reduced by 80%.

“We don’t fully understand what happens in the months and years following COVID-19 in terms of physical and mental health and well-being,” study lead Prof. Michael Edelstein, of Bar-Ilan University, said. “It is becoming increasingly clear that vaccines protect not just against disease but, as the results of this study suggest, against long-term, sometimes life-changing effects of COVID-19.”

The study was published in the journal npj Vaccines.