The effectiveness of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine in the prevention of post-COVID-19 conditions: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis

Antimicrob Steward Healthc Epidemiol. 2022 Dec 6;2(1):e192. doi: 10.1017/ash.2022.336. eCollection 2022.


Background: Although multiple studies have revealed that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines can reduce COVID-19-related outcomes, little is known about their impact on post-COVID-19 conditions. We performed a systematic literature review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination against post-COVID-19 conditions (ie, long COVID).

Methods: We searched PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Scopus, and Web of Science from December 1, 2019, to April 27, 2022, for studies evaluating COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against post-COVID-19 conditions among individuals who received at least 1 dose of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Janssen vaccine. A post-COVID-19 condition was defined as any symptom that was present 3 or more weeks after having COVID-19. Editorials, commentaries, reviews, study protocols, and studies in the pediatric population were excluded. We calculated the pooled diagnostic odds ratios (DORs) for post-COVID-19 conditions between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Vaccine effectiveness was estimated as 100% × (1 - DOR).

Results: In total, 10 studies with 1,600,830 individuals evaluated the effect of vaccination on post-COVID-19 conditions, of which 6 studies were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled DOR for post-COVID-19 conditions among individuals vaccinated with at least 1 dose was 0.708 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.692-0.725) with an estimated vaccine effectiveness of 29.2% (95% CI, 27.5%-30.8%). The vaccine effectiveness was 35.3% (95% CI, 32.3%-38.1%) among those who received the COVID-19 vaccine before having COVID-19, and 27.4% (95% CI, 25.4%-29.3%) among those who received it after having COVID-19.

Conclusions: COVID-19 vaccination both before and after having COVID-19 significantly decreased post-COVID-19 conditions for the circulating variants during the study period although vaccine effectiveness was low.