New preprint: Evidence for positive long- and short-term effects of vaccinations against COVID-19 in wearable sensor metrics -- Insights from the German Corona Data Donation Project
Vaccines are among the most powerful tools used to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. They are highly effective against infection and substantially reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, ICU admission, and death. However, their potential for attenuating long-term effects of a SARS-CoV-2 infection, commonly denoted as Long COVID, remains elusive and is still subject of debate. Such long-term effects can be effectively monitored at the individual level by analyzing physiological data collected by consumer-grade wearable sensors. Here, we investigate changes in resting heart rate, daily physical activity, and sleep duration in response to a SARS-CoV-2 infection stratified by vaccination status. Data was collected over a period of two years in the context of the German Corona Data Donation Project with currently around 190,000 monthly active donors. Compared to their unvaccinated counterparts, we find that vaccinated individuals on average experience smaller changes in their vital data that also return to normal levels more quickly. Likewise, extreme changes in vitals during the acute phase of the disease occur less frequently in vaccinated individuals. Our results solidify evidence that vaccines can mitigate long-term detrimental effects of SARS-CoV-2 infections both in terms of duration and magnitude. Furthermore, they demonstrate the value of large scale, high-resolution wearable sensor data in public health research.
In this paper we use physiological data collected in the German Data Donation Project (Datenspende) to investigate the differential impact of vaccination on the effect that a COVID-19 infection has on resting heart rate, physical activity and sleep.
The preprint is available here: https://arxiv.org/abs/2204.02846.