Some Long-Haulers Find Relief After Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

March 18, 2021

Long-haulers are sharing stories of symptom relief after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. While anecdotal as of now, patients from across the country are reporting that their symptoms have improved or even resolved after getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Survivor Corps, one of the largest patient communities advocating for COVID-19 long haulers, recently released a poll on Facebook asking members how they felt post-vaccination. As of March 18, 2021, 40% of participants said that their long-COVID symptoms improved after being vaccinated (1). 

University of California San Francisco is currently conducting a clinical trial studying the long-term impact of a COVID-19 infection. This observational study is investigating the “clinical consequences of a SARS-CoV-2 infection” to include immune activation, changes in immunologic function, and the development of medical conditions (2). The NIH also announced on February 23 that they will be allocating more than $1.1 billion over the next four years to study the impact of long COVID.

Typically, long-haulers experience fatigue, shortness of breath, body aches, inability to concentrate, headaches, loss of taste and/or smell, as well as other symptoms continuing 6+ weeks after a COVID-19 infection (3). Experts are unsure as to why or how vaccination is leading to symptom relief for some long-haulers. Long COVID has been likened to Lyme disease, and the production of autoantibodies leading to autoimmune disease has also been discussed as a theory behind some long-COVID symptoms. Some hypothesize that the immune system may be getting a “boost” from the vaccine to resolve persistent symptoms (1, 4). 

You can find more news on long-haulers through the Survivor Corps website.