Covid vaccine: What’s your risk of catching coronavirus after having the jabs?

Kate Middleton receives her first dose of coronavirus vaccine

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King’s College London shared preliminary results of their data analysis of more than 1.1 million app contributors to the Covid Symptom Study. All participants had either had one or two doses of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca jab. Two weeks post injection – when full immunity kicks in – reduced the chances of becoming infected with Covid. However there was one caveat, following vaccination, your individual risk of infection depended on the prevalence of Covid in your area at any given time.

One major benefit of vaccination was that those who did end up testing positive for Covid after their jabs were less likely to need hospital treatment.

The risk of hospitalisation for the vaccinated group stood at one in 2,500 people (or 0.04 percent).

Interestingly, lifestyle factors still played a part in whether a person was likely to become reinfected after their Covid jabs.

The research stated that people with “less healthy lifestyles” and “higher body mass indexes (BMI)” were more likely to get reinfected.

In addition, the rate of reinfection was also more prevalent for people “living in areas of higher social deprivation”.

Older adults with health conditions causing frailty were also more likely to get reinfected.

It must be noted that age itself didn’t seem to affect the chances of reinfection.

People over the age of 60 who had been vaccinated were also less likely to develop prolonged Covid symptoms than those who weren’t vaccinated.

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Do the symptoms differ pre and post vaccination if you caught Covid?

Symptoms such as loss of smell, cough, fever, headaches and fatigue were reported by people who had Covid regardless of whether they had been vaccinated or not.

However, the vaccinated group did report fewer symptoms over a shorter period of time if they had Covid.

This supports the notion that Covid vaccinations can dampen the effects of Covid disease.

In summary, Covid vaccinations:

  • Decreased severity of disease
  • Decreased longevity of disease
  • Reduced risk of reinfection

Dr Claire Steves at King’s College London, who is the lead author of the study, commented on the results.

“It’s great to see this evidence that vaccinated people experience fewer symptoms, are less likely to be hospitalised and that the risk of developing long COVID is lower in older people at least.

“Our work shows there are still groups to protect, especially frail older adults, and people living in more disadvantaged areas.

“These groups may need to be prioritised for second and booster vaccinations.”

Curiously, people who had been vaccinated and then caught Covid were more likely to report sneezing as a symptom than the non-vaccinated group.

It’s for this reason that the scientists urge anybody who has been vaccinated, who is now sneezing, to be tested for Covid.

The scientists emphasise that “no vaccine is 100 percent effective – even for the healthiest among us”.

This is why following government guidelines on rapid flow testing, good hygiene, and social mixing is paramount.

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