Nearly 50% of people that have recovered from Covid-19 still experience tiredness and concentration difficulty 3 months after recovery regardless of their vaccination status. However, vaccinated persons tend to recover faster from smell and taste loss than unvaccinated persons, according to LongCOVID research by the public health institute RIVM. 

The study by RIVM examined 14,572 persons that were infected by the Delta and Alpha Covid-19 variants from the beginning of May to the end of December 2021. Included in this study were 9,166 persons who registered for the research after getting a positive test. 

One-third of people that contracted the coronavirus still battled tiredness after 3 months. Also, 15% had difficulty with focus, 16% still faced shortness of breath, 12% continued to battle with a dimmed sense of taste and smell, and 13% couldn’t cope with busy surroundings. 

To validate the study, the RIVM created a control group consisting of 5,406 uninfected persons who were given questionnaires to fill 3 months after having a negative test for Covid-19. One-quarter of the respondents were found to have one or more of the signs associated with ‘Long Covid’. Nevertheless, the complaints are one and half times more in persons previously infected by the virus. 

As of now, RIVM is unsure of the symptoms’ duration after a patient has recovered from a coronavirus infection. “We are continuing the monitoring of our participants for a period of one or two years,” explained RIVM’s chief of the LongCOVID research, Tessa van der Maarden to NOS. The study will eventually be expanded to include persons who recovered from the Omicron variant. 

It’s unclear how many Dutch residents experience Long COVID (medically referred to as post-Covid syndrome). Part of the reason is due to the complexity of defining the situation which makes it hard to document. 

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