I received my 2nd shot of the Pfizer vaccine in the middle of April, but I still have some anxieties about some higher risk activities like indoor dining. Mostly, I'm worried about the possibility of long Covid.
This article, although it presents only one anecdote, does show that long Covid is at least possible after being fully vaccinated. As immunity evasive variants grow as a share of new infections, we might even expect this kind of occurrence to become more common as time goes on. A redditor claims that four vaccinated people he knows still ended up symptomatic. He could be lying, but maybe these variants are getting good at their job.
I wish I could present better sources for my concerns but I'm afraid scrappy anecdotes and self reported data is really all we have to work with on this front right now. Or so I thought, until I ran into this preprint from the folks from JoinZOE and the Covid Symptom Study app. If you take a look at tables 8 and 9, you can see that the authors found no evidence for reduced incidence of symptoms lasting >28 days after vaccination in the younger age group (given that infection did occur, of course). The effect was significant in the older age group. I should add that this was self reported data and not a trial.
What are we to make of this? Do vaccines not protect us against long Covid in the way that we hoped they might? Of course, if we don't get infected, this isn't an issue. But if we are infected, then are we really at equal risk of developing long Covid as someone who was infected without vaccination? What other sources out there discuss this?