The 'only' coronavirus symptom more commonly reported in vaccinated people with COVID-19

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Studies continue to endorse getting vaccinated with a coronavirus vaccine. A new study published in the journal Nature adds to the positive picture. It found that a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine induces a powerful boost to a part of the immune system that provides broad antiviral protection. However, there are misconceptions that persist around the vaccines.

One that appears to keep surprising people is that you can still be struck down with COVID-19 symptoms even if you’re double jabbed.

In fact, there is a coronavirus symptom uniquely reported in those vaccinated.

The curious development was first reported in a King’s College London study in May.

Researchers at King’s College London analysed data from participants logging their symptoms, tests and vaccines on the UK ZOE COVID Symptom Study app between 8th December 2020 and 14th May 2021, including 1,102,192 individuals who had been vaccinated.

READ MORE: When will Covid vaccine boosters become available? How do boosters work?

They examined in detail 2,278 adults who tested positive for COVID-19 after vaccination and compared them to both vaccinated adults who tested negative for COVID-19 and unvaccinated adults who tested positive for COVID-19.

The team focused on infections developing more than 14 days after receiving either one dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, which is when immunity starts to develop according to findings based in a previous study published in the Lancet.

The study found sneezing was the “only symptom which was more commonly reported in vaccinated people with COVID-19”.

In general, the nature of symptoms was similar to unvaccinated adults – e.g. anosmia, cough, fever, headaches, and fatigue.

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However, vaccination appeared to take the edge off the severity of the symptoms.

All the symptoms were more mild and less frequently reported by people who were vaccinated, and they were half as likely to get multiple symptoms in the first week of illness.

The study also lifted the lid on the risk factors that put people more at risk of COVID-19 infection post-vaccination.

Individuals who had health conditions that limited their independence – such as frailty – were more at risk of COVID-19 infection after vaccination, and of getting sick.

Age on its own, however, was not a risk factor.

Adults living in areas of higher deprivation were consistently at more risk of infection despite vaccination even when adjusting for health behaviours.

COVID-19 infection in vaccinated individuals was less likely in individuals with a healthy lifestyle, for example a healthy diet and normal body mass index (BMI).

BMI is the most widely used method to check if you’re a healthy weight is body mass index.

“The findings demonstrate the necessity of targeted policy towards at-risk groups,” the study researchers wrote

“Frail adults in residential settings have already shown to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”

They added: “The research team suggests strategies such as a timely booster programme, targeted infection control measures and more research into the immune response to vaccination in this group could help address the issue.”



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