(WTNH) — While the COVID-19 vaccines were designed to protect us from the virus, an added benefit is emerging for long-haulers. Some are reporting relief from their lingering symptoms, after getting vaccinated.
“The studies are being reported now that show about 30 – 40 percent of the long-haulers feeling better after getting the vaccination,” said Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, Professor of Immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine. “It’s a very exciting finding.”
Dr. Iwasaki is researching long COVID and looking closely at the impact these vaccines have on those still suffering from symptoms, weeks or months later.
“We are actively trying to recruit people who have these long-haul symptoms, before the vaccine, so we can collect their blood and saliva to study their immune responses,” Iwasaki explained. “Then, to collect the samples again after the vaccine to see what changed between before and after the vaccine.”
She said their plan is to have a large, collaborative study come out of Yale.
“There are millions of people suffering from long-term diseases,” said Iwasaki. “Basic research, like the one we’re trying to do, is going to have a huge impact on this population. Even if it can help a fraction of these people, I think it’s worth doing.”
Iwasaki said she’s received several texts and emails from long haulers about this.
“I hear people have a much better ability to breathe,” she explained. “Their shortness of breath has really gone away in some people. Other people, the brain fog has lifted.”
While there’s still more to be learned about this possible link, Iwasaki said this information is promising and has sparked optimism among patients.
She did point out not all long-haulers feel better after getting vaccinated. She said about 10 percent report feeling worse and the rest feel the same.