The ‘top five’ symptoms of Covid in fully vaccinated – protection ‘waning’ warns professor

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The success of the vaccine rollout in the UK is undeniable – the evidence is everywhere. From bustling bars and shopping districts to the quieter noises coming out of the NHS. The vaccines deployed against COVID-19 have proven to be highly effective at preventing a more serious form of the viral disease. However, as Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE Symptom Study App, warned in his latest video, the protection offered from the vaccines are “waning over time”.

“For both vaccines, the prevention of infection is waning over time”, Prof Spector said.

He was drawing on the latest data published to the ZOE Symptom Study App, which has monitored the impact of the vaccines from over a million users.

According to Prof Spector, the waning protection gets “quite dramatic once you get to four months, although the numbers there are limited”.

In light of this concerning trend, it is vital to heed the warning signs of COVID-19, even if you’re fully vaccinated, he added.

Signs of COVID-19 in those fully vaccinated

Professor outlined the “top five” symptoms COVID-19 reported in those fully vaccinated within the last 30 days.

These are:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of smell.

Previous data published in the ZOE Symptom Study App suggest that sneezing is a Covid symptom experienced exclusively in those fully vaccinated.

“If you’ve been vaccinated and start sneezing a lot without an explanation, you should stay home and get a COVID test,” advises the team behind the app.

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“Especially if you’re living or working around people who are at greater risk from the disease.”

As the team notes, sneezing is a key way that viruses spread.

“Try to cover all coughs and sneezes with tissue or the inside of your elbow to minimise the spread of droplets. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you wash your hands.”

Why you should get vaccinated

While prevention from infection may wane over time, the initial protection is key to preventing hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

What’s more, the unvaccinated can develop ‘long Covid’ if they catch COVID-19, which can prove highly debilitating.

What is long Covid?

How long it takes to recover from COVID-19 is different for everybody.

“Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for some people, symptoms can last longer,” explains the NHS.

Long Covid has come to describe the persistent symptoms of COVID-19, which can stretch on indefinitely for months.

“The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you were when you first got COVID-19,” notes the NHS.

According to the health body, people who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.

There are lots of symptoms you can have after a COVID-19 infection.

Common long COVID symptoms include:

  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”)
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Pins and needles
  • Joint pain
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Tinnitus, earaches
  • Feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
  • A high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
  • Rashes.

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