Protective Effects of BNT162b2 Vaccination on Aerobic Capacity Following Mild to Moderate SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Cross-Sectional Study Israel

Yair Blumberg, Michael Edelstein, Kamal Abu Jabal, Ron Golan, Neta Tuvia, Yuval Perets, Musa Saad, Tatyana Levinas, Dabbah Saleem, Zeev Israeli, Abu Raya Alaa, Gabby Elbaz Greener, Anat Amital, Majdi Halabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients previously infected with acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may experience post-acute adverse health outcomes, known as long COVID. The most reported symptoms are fatigue, headache and attention/concentration issues, dyspnea and myalgia. In addition, reduced aerobic capacity has been demonstrated in both mild and moderate COVID-19 patients. It is unknown whether COVID-19 vaccination mitigates against reduced aerobic capacity. Our aim was to compare the aerobic capacity of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. Methods: Individuals aged 18 to 65 years with laboratory-confirmed mild to moderate COVID-19 disease were invited to Ziv Medical Centre, Israel, three months after SARS-CoV-2 infection. We compared individuals unvaccinated at the time of infection to those vaccinated in terms of aerobic capacity, measured using symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET). Results: We recruited 28 unvaccinated and 22 vaccinated patients. There were no differences in baseline demographic and pulmonary function testing (PFT) parameters. Compared with unvaccinated individuals, those vaccinated had higher V’O2/kg at peak exercise and at the anaerobic threshold. The V’O2/kg peak in the unvaccinated group was 83% of predicted vs. 100% in the vaccinated (p < 0.002). At the anaerobic threshold (AT), vaccinated individuals had a higher V’O2/kg than those unvaccinated. Conclusions: Vaccinated individuals had significantly better exercise performance. Compared with vaccinated individuals, a higher proportion of those unvaccinated performed substantially worse than expected on CPET. These results suggest that vaccination at the time of infection is associated with better aerobic capacity following SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4420
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • aerobic capacity
  • vaccination


Dive into the research topics of 'Protective Effects of BNT162b2 Vaccination on Aerobic Capacity Following Mild to Moderate SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Cross-Sectional Study Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this