Health Advice



The good news and the bad news -- which do you want first?

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

A study once showed that when given the choice, folks prefer to hear bad news first, good news after. But news givers are inclined to deliver good news first. When it comes to long COVID-19 and breakthrough infections among people who are vaccinated, you win -- here's the bad news first.

According to a study published in Nature Medicine, about a third of folks who have been fully vaccinated (but not boosted) and then experience a BTI, develop long COVID-19. That means that they are more likely to contend with cardiovascular, coagulation and hematologic, gastrointestinal, kidney, mental health, metabolic, musculoskeletal and/or neurologic disorders -- and death -- 30 or more days post-infection than folks who have never had COVID-19.

The good news? The study shows that that being vaccinated leads to a 15% reduction in long COVID-19 symptoms related to lung and blood clot disorders for up to six months after a breakthrough infection. (More bad news: the vaccination seems to do little to protect from other symptoms.)

The study that generated these findings looked at almost 40,000 people in the Veterans Affairs database and found that around 10.65 of every 1,000 people who were fully vaccinated developed a BTI. Their conclusion: While vaccination offers some protection, it is still important to protect yourself from possible infection.

I suggest that handwashing and mask-wearing don't take much effort, but the protection they offer may be life-changing, even if you're vaccinated.

And P.S., get twice boosted if you qualify. Most probably, it gives you a lot more protection from BTIs.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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