Vaccine could provide relief for those with COVID-19 long-hauler syndrome

Jen Steer

Studies on vaccine recoveries are just beginning

by: Melissa Reid

Posted: Apr 6, 2021 / 10:11 PM EDT
/ Updated: Apr 6, 2021 / 10:44 PM EDT

CLEVELAND (WJW)– For those suffering from prolonged COVID-19 symptoms, there may be some relief attached to the vaccine.

Dr. Amy Edwards, an infectious disease expert with University Hospitals, said she was contacted by a colleague regarding a patient with COVID-19 long-hauler syndrome.

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“They asked me whether or not the patient should get the vaccine. I said, ‘We don’t know what effect the vaccine would have on long-haulers, but if her fear of getting it again is debilitating enough, I would recommend her getting the vaccine,’” Edwards said.

Edwards said the patient opted to get the Pfizer vaccine and the recovery was instant.

“She said it was like flipping a switch. Her fatigue was gone, she felt fine,” Edwards said.

That patient is not alone. Edwards said a growing number of long-haulers are reporting vaccine-induced relief and doctors are still trying to figure out why.

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This early data could certainly be a game-changer for post-COVID clinics still searching for answers on how to treat them.

“For right now, when I talk to long-haulers, I tell them we don’t have any data on it. We have anecdotal evidence that some people tell me they feel better. But also warning them that some people don’t feel better or even feel worse,” Edwards said.

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Edwards said formal studies on vaccine recoveries are only just beginning.

Figuring out why vaccines improve long-COVID could be a clue for doctors as to why the persistent symptoms occur in the first place.

“Part of the problem is that we don’t know what the mechanism for long-haul syndrome is. So, why is the vaccine making them feel better? And is this feeling temporary? It really is too early to say.  But it’s a fascinating finding to hear that there are people who say the vaccine is making them feel better,” Edwards said.

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