Why should younger folks take the COVID vaccine?

Besides not wanting to carry COVID asymptomatically to those that they love and who not immune to the virus, the young are not only at a small risk for hospitalization and death, but we now know that they at a pretty big risk to become “long haulers.”

The Norweigan study included 312 COVID survivors over age 16, with illnesses of varying severity. Overall, at six months, 189 patients, or 61 percent, reported persistent symptoms.

The study, published in Nature Medicine, also showed that of the 61 patients who only had mild illness (not moderate or severe), a stunning 52 percent continued to have symptoms at six months, including:

  • loss of taste and smell (28%),
  • fatigue (21%),
  • trouble breathing (13%),
  • impaired cognition (13%), and
  • memory problems (11%).

These so-called “long hauler” patients are suffering from what is now called PACS or Post Acute COVID Syndrome, for which there is no proven treatment.

The researchers said their patients’ high rate of persistent fatigue “is striking” and appears higher than what is usually seen after other common viral infections, such as influenza, mononucleosis, and dengue.

“Considering the millions of young people infected during the ongoing pandemic,” the researchers told Medscape, “the findings should prompt population-wide mass vaccination” and other infection control measures.

Please pass along this information to any young people you know, age 12 or older, who have not yet had the COVID vaccine.

This blog was accurate as of the day of posting. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves and the scientific community’s understanding of the novel coronavirus and the COVID vaccine develops, the information above may have changed since it was last updated. While I aim to keep all of my blogs on COVID and the COVID vaccine up to date, please visit online resources provided by the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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2 Responses to Why should younger folks take the COVID vaccine?

  1. Cleta Hartman says:

    Hi Walt,
    John and I have been reading your posts about COVID with interest.

    We urge you to also post about the necessity of early treatment for COVID. John has treated many COVID patients and has been amazed how quickly they have returned to health following early treatment (immediately following signs of illness). AAPS has a great resource for everyone – A Guide to Home-Based COVID Treatment.

    John would be happy to discuss all of this with you anytime.

  2. Cleta,

    Great to hear from you, as always. Readers may not know that the “John” you refer to (your husband) and I practiced family medicine together in Kissimmee, Florida, from 1985 to 2001. You and he are two of my and Barb’s dearest friends.

    Up to now, I have focused almost all of my COVID blogs on the prevention of COVID and not treatment. Like most physicians, we all want to prevent rather than have to treat any disease, disorder, or disaster. The COVID vaccine is far and away the best preventive medicine for COVID for the vast majority of our population.

    And unfortunately, it does not appear that the natural immunity that develops with folks who had COVID, whether treated or not, is nearly as long-lasting as the vaccine not as effective against some of the variants.

    Again, great to hear from you. Give John a hug from Barb and me. And, come visit us in Colorado!

    Love to you both.


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