Researchers are just beginning work on seeking cures for long COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, which is described as COVID symptoms that last for three months or more, according to an article in Nature.
“It took a while to get underway on any significant mechanistic long-COVID research,” Imperial College London immunologist Danny Altmann says in Nature. “It’s difficult to put the full picture together.”
“Thus far, vaccines are the best way to prevent long COVID,” by reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection and reducing the likelihood of long COVID in those who do get a breakthrough infection, according to Nature.
Several studies have confirmed that vaccinations help. Nature cited one study, which has still not been peer reviewed, showing that vaccination lowered the risks of acquiring long-COVID symptoms by roughly 41% in over 3,000 double-vaccinated volunteers who were later infected with SARS-CoV-2. But even a 50% risk reduction is not very good according to Altman. “Half isn’t as good as I expected,” he told Nature.
The article in Nature also discusses investigations of treating long COVID with antivirals, such as molnupiravir and Paxlovid, as well as drugs that have been used for cardiovascular treatments, such as Apixaban and Atorvastatin.