Results - long COVID
Academic papers from the survey
ONS articles on "Long COVID" from the survey
6 May 2022 - Self-reported long COVID after infection with the Omicron variant in the UK
The odds of reporting long COVID symptoms four to eight weeks after a first coronavirus (COVID-19) infection were 49.7% lower in infections compatible with the Omicron BA.1 variant than those compatible with the Delta variant among adults who were double-vaccinated when infected; this was after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics.
However, there was no statistical evidence of a difference in risk between first infections compatible with the Delta and Omicron BA.1 variants among triple-vaccinated adults; the socio-demographically adjusted prevalence of self-reported long COVID was 8.5% for Delta and 8.0% for Omicron BA.1.
There was also no statistical evidence of a difference in risk between first infections compatible with the Delta and Omicron BA.2 variants among triple-vaccinated adults; the socio-demographically adjusted prevalence of self-reported long COVID was 7.4% for Delta and 9.1% for Omicron BA.2.
The odds of reporting long COVID symptoms four to eight weeks after a first COVID-19 infection were 21.8% higher after an infection compatible with Omicron BA.2 than Omicron BA.1 among adults who were triple-vaccinated when infected; this was after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and time since last COVID-19 vaccination.
The results above relate to long COVID symptoms of any severity; similar findings were obtained when focussing on symptoms that limited daily activities, except there was no statistical evidence of a difference in the likelihood of activity-limiting long COVID between the Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants.
26 January 2022 - Self-reported long COVID after two doses of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine in the UK
In a sample of UK adults aged 18 to 69 years, receiving two doses of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine at least two weeks before a first test-confirmed COVID-19 infection was associated with a 41.1% decrease in the odds of self-reported long COVID at least 12 weeks later, relative to socio-demographically similar study participants who were not vaccinated when infected (Figure 1).
This analysis was based on data to 30 November 2021, and longer follow-up time is needed to assess the impact of booster doses and the Omicron variant; furthermore, the observational nature of the analysis means that we cannot say whether COVID-19 vaccination caused subsequent changes in the likelihood of self-reported long COVID.
Long COVID symptoms of any severity were reported by 9.5% of double-vaccinated study participants, compared with 14.6% of socio-demographically similar participants who were unvaccinated when infected; the corresponding estimates for long COVID symptoms severe enough to result in limitation to day-to-day activities were 5.5% and 8.7% respectively.
There was no statistical evidence that the relationship between vaccination status at the time of infection and the likelihood of subsequently reporting long COVID symptoms differed by whether participants received adenovirus vector (Oxford/AstraZeneca) or mRNA (Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna) vaccines.
25 October 2021 - Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination and self-reported long COVID in the UK
- Receiving a first coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination was associated with an initial 13% decrease in the likelihood of self-reported long COVID (symptoms persisting for at least 12 weeks after first having COVID-19 that were not explained by something else) among study participants aged 18 to 69 years in the UK who had confirmed COVID-19 prior to vaccination, using data to 5 September 2021.
- However, it is unclear from the data whether the improvement in self-reported long COVID symptoms after receiving the first vaccination was sustained over time until receiving the second vaccination.
- Receiving a second COVID-19 vaccination was associated with 9% decrease in the likelihood of self-reported long COVID, relative to having received the first vaccination, and there was statistical evidence of a sustained improvement after this.
- There was no statistical evidence of differences in post-vaccination trends of self-reported long COVID between participants who received an adenovirus vector (Oxford/AstraZeneca) vaccine and those who received an mRNA (Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna) vaccine.
- There was also no statistical evidence of differences in trends according to socio-demographic characteristics (age, sex, ethnic group and area deprivation) or health-related factors (self-reported health status not related to COVID-19, and whether ever hospitalised with acute COVID-19).
- The observational nature of the study means that we cannot say whether COVID-19 vaccination caused subsequent changes in the likelihood of self-reported long COVID; also, study follow-up after receiving the second vaccination was limited, so long-term associations between COVID-19 vaccination and self-reported long COVID remain unknown.