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This article is the author's final published version in BMJ Open, Volume 13, Issue 2, 2023, Article number e063141.

The published version is available at Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Published by BMJ.


OBJECTIVES: Although COVID-19 vaccines offer protection against infection and severe disease, there is limited information on the effect of vaccination on prolonged symptoms following COVID-19. Our objective was to determine differences in prevalence of prolonged symptoms 6 weeks after onset of COVID-19 among healthcare personnel (HCP) by vaccination status, and to assess differences in timing of return to work.

DESIGN: Cohort analysis of HCP with COVID-19 enrolled in a multicentre vaccine effectiveness study. HCP with COVID-19 between December 2020 and August 2021 were followed up 6 weeks after illness onset.

SETTING: Health systems in 12 US states.

PARTICIPANTS: HCP participating in a vaccine effectiveness study were eligible for inclusion if they had laboratory-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 with mRNA vaccination (symptom onset ≥14 days after two doses) or no prior vaccination. Among 681 eligible participants, 419 (61%) completed a follow-up survey to assess symptoms reported 6 weeks after illness onset.

EXPOSURES: Two doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine compared with no COVID-19 vaccine.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of symptoms 6 weeks after onset of COVID-19 illness and days to return to work.

RESULTS: Among 419 HCP with COVID-19, 298 (71%) reported one or more COVID-like symptoms 6 weeks after illness onset, with a lower prevalence among vaccinated participants compared with unvaccinated participants (60.6% vs 79.1%; adjusted risk ratio 0.70, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.84). Following their illness, vaccinated HCP returned to work a median 2.0 days (95% CI 1.0 to 3.0) sooner than unvaccinated HCP (adjusted HR 1.37, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.79).

CONCLUSIONS: Receipt of two doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine among HCP with COVID-19 illness was associated with decreased prevalence of COVID-like symptoms at 6 weeks and earlier return to work.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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