St. Louis alderwoman says vaccine helped her long-term symptoms

“I got the second vaccine a week ago from today and I started to feel improvement in symptoms about a week after the first vaccine,” Alderwoman Megan Green said

ST. LOUIS — For St. Louis Alderwoman Megan Green, she’s been trying to get out of the COVID-19 labyrinth she entered in December. 

“I was this healthy 37-year-old. Before getting COVID-19, I was physically active and then I went to a place where I couldn’t get out of bed,” Green said.

The virus took over and she was sick for three weeks with a fever for 21 days straight. 

She did beat COVID-19, but the effects of the virus stuck around for months.

“I just kept going through spells of neurological symptoms,” she said. “Half my body was numb and I had trouble concentrating. Very lethargic, fatigued. I wasn’t functioning normal. That continued for months.”

Dr. Sarah George, SLU Associate Professor of Infectious Disease, said long COVID-19 is seen in 10% or in some studies 30% of people who got COVID-19. She also said it’s more common in women. 

But recently, Green noticed a big relief after a small poke.

“I got the second vaccine a week ago from today and I started to feel improvement in symptoms about a week after the first vaccine. Wow, I feel a lot better. The fatigue I was having wasn’t as bad as it was, the heaviness in my legs was almost gone. Facial numbness is gone,” she said.

Some symptoms disappeared and her energy levels improved. 

Dr. George said this isn’t just happening to Green.

A patient advocacy group called Survivor Corps recently surveyed nearly 900 long-haulers.

According to the group, 41% reported their symptoms improved or disappeared after getting the vaccine.

“Recently, there’s some data that some people who get the vaccine actually got better in their long COVID,” Dr. George said. “The vaccine does do a strong antibody response, maybe that helps clear up any residual inflammation.”

COVID-19 could be causing autoimmune disease, and the vaccine acts as a reset of the immune system.

Right now, research is ongoing and answers may not be revealed for several months for an exact reason why the vaccine may work for them.

But Green feels like she finally found the light at the end of the tunnel, the vaccine helping her find the way out.

She hopes it can do the same for others.

“Definitely get the vaccine,” Green exclaims. 

Dr. George also encourages people to get the vaccine to avoid COVID-19 and to get back to a new normal. 

“You won’t get post-COVID syndrome if you don’t get COVID. Get vaccinated as soon as you can; we really need an end to this pandemic,” Dr. George said.

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