VACCINATED and Covid-19 recovered people heal faster if infected with the coronavirus, according to a senior Bahraini medic.
They would spring back in five to six days, whereas the unvaccinated require up to eight days for recovery, according to National Taskforce for Combating Covid-19 monitoring committee head Lieutenant Colonel Dr Manaf Al Qahtani.
The BDF hospital microbiologist based his observations on findings from a study published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, titled Viral Dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) Variants in Vaccinated and Unvaccinated People.
“Recipients infected with Covid-19 may clear the infection more quickly than unvaccinated people,” Dr Al Qahtani tweeted, citing the study.
“Breakthrough infections among vaccine recipients had a faster clearance time than unvaccinated participants - with a mean of 5.5 days and 7.5 days respectively.”
He also said recent evidence indicated that those infected with delta had higher peak viral loads compared with other variants.
Dr Al Qahtani’s comments come as Omicron-induced infections are on the rise around the world, with experts predicting that it could infect almost everyone, with vaccinated people faring better.
US President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday (January 11) that the variant, “with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of transmissibility, will eventually find just about everybody.”
The top infectious disease expert predicted that the vaccinated and boosted would be exposed, with “possibly a lot of them” becoming infected. He did, however, note that vaccinated people (with a few exceptions) will fare reasonably well in terms of avoiding hospitalisation and death. In contrast, he said the unvaccinated would bear the brunt of the infection’s severity.
A cough, sore throat, muscle aches and a low fever are common symptoms being reported globally, however, several patients have also cited headaches, nasal congestion and sneezing — signs of illness more typically associated with colds or allergies.
Meanwhile, Dr Al Qahtani explained Bahrain’s revised Covid-19 protocols, which go into effect today, based on the infection transmission rate.
“The vast majority of transmission occurs in the first five days after diagnosis with Covid-19 - somewhere in the range of 85 to 90 per cent,” he explained.
The GDN yesterday (Jan 12) reported that the precautionary quarantine period will be seven days from the date of infection for individuals who hold a green shield on the BeAware Bahrain application. They can exit quarantine after seven days without taking a PCR test.
Meanwhile, individuals who are unvaccinated, or hold either a yellow or red shield on the BeAware app, must quarantine for 10 days from the date of infection and can exit isolation after 10 days, without taking a PCR test.
Dr Al Qahtani also cited the need for a “harm-reduction framing of isolation periods.”
A Johns Hopkins Centre for Global Health affiliate Dr Amesh Adalja, emphasised in an article that Covid-19 isolation should not be “one size fits all,” and that quarantine and isolation periods should be tailored to each individual.
According to the senior scholar, the primary goal of coronavirus health recommendations should be to reduce the virus’s harm.
“There will always be a baseline number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths,” he said.
“We cannot drive the risk to zero. We need a harm-reduction framing of isolation periods that explicitly acknowledges that the goal is to block the bulk of -- but not all -- transmission,” he said.
A total of 296,253 people in the country have been infected as of Tuesday, which include 13,489 active cases, 281, 367 recoveries and 1,397 fatalities.