YALE Medicine, Kathy Katella, April 12, 2021

Why Vaccines May Be Helping Some With Long COVID

Yale researcher is eager to find answers.

As more people get vaccinated, a surprise discovery has been that the vaccines seem to provide relief for some patients with what’s being called “long COVID” (when symptoms linger for weeks or even months). Persistent and unpredictable, the symptoms of long COVID can include chronic cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, memory and sleep problems, and in the most severe cases, even organ damage.

Doctors don’t know a lot about what causes long-term COVID-19 symptoms, and there are many questions still to be answered about the reported improvements seen with the vaccines: Why might the vaccine help some people? Are some vaccines better at this than others? Could a tool designed for prevention also serve as a treatment?

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