Lingering symptoms go away after getting vaccinated, some COVID-19 long-haulers say

Researchers have yet another area to explore when it comes to COVID-19: Why some people experiencing long-haul COVID-19 say their symptoms disappeared after getting vaccinated, The Washington Post reported March 16. 

Just over one day after getting her second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Arianna Eisenberg, who experienced fatigue, insomnia, brian fog and muscle pain for eight months, said her lingering symptoms were gone. 

"I really felt back to myself, to a way that I didn't think was possible when I was really sick," Ms. Eisenberg, a 34-year-old therapist in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, told the Post.

Survivor Corps, an online group of people with long COVID-19 symptoms, conducted an informal member survey that showed 216 people felt no different after vaccination, while 171 said their conditions improved and 63 said they felt worse. Little research has been officially published on the subject, the Post reports. 

"The only thing that we can safely assume is that an unknown proportion of people who acquire SARS-CoV-2 have long-term symptoms," Steven Deeks, MD, an infectious disease specialist at UC San Francisco, told the Post. "We know the questions. We have no answers. Hard stop." 

Researchers suspect symptoms subsiding after vaccination could be due to a number of reasons, though deeper investigation is still needed. The placebo effect could be one simple explanation. Another theory suggests the COVID-19 vaccine could be prompting the immune system to rid the body of any virus it's still harboring, similar to what happens with varicella zoster, the virus responsible for chickenpox and shingles. The CDC recommends people be vaccinated against it in their 50s because in some cases, it can remain in the body's nervous system for years. 

The Post cited a blog post written by Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, an immunologist at New Haven, Conn.-based Yale School of Medicine, which outlines a number of potential explanations for how vaccines may improve lingering COVID-19 symptoms, including a proposal that vaccines boost T-cells and subsequently eliminate a viral reservoir. 

To read the full Washington Post article, click here.


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