Fully vaccinated people infected with the coronavirus by way of breakthrough cases are often less sick from COVID-19, according to new research.

Do COVID-19 vaccines protect against severe COVID?

Per CNN, two new studies suggested that the COVID-19 vaccines protect against severe COVID-19 and death, which we’ve known for a while.

  • But the researchers found that breakthrough infections — where fully vaccinated people are infected with COVID-19 — lead to less sickness overall.
  • “Although breakthrough infection increased risk of death, vaccination remained protective against death in persons who became infected during the Delta surge,” the researchers wrote in a new report, which was published in the medical journal Science.
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How long does the COVID vaccine protect you?

The researchers said vaccine effectiveness can wane over time, no matter the type of virus that infects people, according to CNN,

  • But “those fully vaccinated had a much lower risk of death after infection,” the researchers wrote.
  • The experts said there’s “an urgent need to reinstate multiple layers of protection, such as masking and physical distancing — even among vaccinated persons — while also bolstering current efforts to increase vaccination.”

Can fully vaccinated people get long COVID?

Still, this doesn’t mean fully vaccinated people have free rein to ignore the coronavirus. A team of researchers at Oxford University recently found that fully vaccinated people infected with coronavirus can experience long-term symptoms, otherwise known as “long COVID-19.”

The researchers found fully vaccinated people have a lower risk of death and hospitalization. But there is still a risk for severe complications, including “lung failure, need for mechanical ventilation, ICU admission, life-threatening blood clots, seizures, and psychosis,” per Reuters.

  • And the findings suggest “previous vaccination does not appear to protect against several previously documented outcomes of COVID-19 such as long COVID features, arrhythmia, joint pain, Type 2 diabetes, liver disease, sleep disorders, and mood and anxiety disorders,” the researchers said.

Correction: This article previously said the vaccine infects you. The COVID-19 vaccine does not infect you. The coronavirus infects you.