By Guy Page
The Vermont Department of Health doesn’t know how many young Vermonters suffer from longterm, debilitating “Long Covid” that reportedly afflicts young people nationwide.
‘Long Covid’ was cited today by Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine as a reason for young people to get vaccinated. Younger people are the next ‘target market’ for vaccination. By April 19, all Vermonters 16 and older will be eligible. This shift in emphasis comes as vaccination of Vermonters 70 and over exceeds 80%, the Covid death rate is in steep decline, and only 25 vaccinated Vermonters have contracted Covid, none of them needing hospitalization.
With the worst apparently over, Vermont officials want younger Vermonters vaccinated. In his opening remarks, Levine said young people should protect themselves from the physically and mentally debilitating effects of Long Covid. “After enduring what you have for the last year, you owe it to yourself,” Levine told any young people listening to the press conference.
Later in the press conference, Vermont Daily asked Levine how many young people suffer from Long Covid: “How many young Vermonters have contracted this? Has anyone or is anyone now suffering longterm disability?”
“There are definitely people suffering from this,” Levine responded. Some students are enrolled in a clinical study at UVM, he said. “I get communications from a variety of people. I do not have a number for you. I doubt you will get that number anywhere in the country.”
According to Heart Matters, most people who had Covid symptoms recovered quickly and were able to resume their normal lives after a few days. But for some, the effects of the virus can last for weeks or months. This has been known as “long Covid”. Lasting symptoms of coronavirus can include: fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety and depression, palpitations, chest pains, joint or muscle pain, and not being able to think straight or focus (‘brain fog’).
Health officials also reported that they hope to have high school students vaccinated before school starts in the fall, and to have younger children vaccinated by the new year.