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A new study from the United Kingdom shows that fully vaccinated people greatly reduce their chances of breakthrough infections and serious illness from coronavirus, including long COVID.

The study, allopurinol gout medicine published Wednesday in Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal, said that only 0.5% of people reported a breakthrough infection 14 days after the getting first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. Only 0.2% reported an infection after the second dose.

The study confirmed the importance of people receiving both doses of a two-dose regimen. When breakthrough infections did occur, the chances of a person being asymptomatic were 63% after the first dose and 94% after the second dose. 

The odds of a person having long COVID — defined as showing symptoms after 28 days of infection — decreased by 50% after two vaccine doses, the study said.

The study used information collected from December 2020 to July 2021 from about 1.2 million adults in the UK.

“We are at a critical point in the pandemic as we see cases rising worldwide due to the Delta variant,” study co-lead author Dr. Claire Steves said, according to USA Today. “Breakthrough infections are expected and don’t diminish the fact that these vaccines are doing exactly what they were designed to do — save lives and prevent serious illness.”

Sources:

Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal. “Risk factors and disease profile of post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection in UK users of the COVID Symptom Study app: a prospective, community-based, nested, case-control study”

USA Today. “Vaccines cut chances of long COVID in half, study shows; millions of Americans keep vaccination secret: COVID-19 updates”

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