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After Vaccination, Health of People with Long Covid More Likely to Improve or Worsen Compared to Controls

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In survey, 30% of people with Long Covid said health improved after vaccination and 28% said health worsened, compared to 4% and 7%, respectively, reported by controls

December 21, 2021–With an onslaught from the Omicron variant looming, identifying treatments for Long Covid has become even more imperative.

Some have pointed to the possibility of Covid-19 vaccination to provide some relief, as widely reported anecdotal evidence has suggested that the health of people with Long Covid may improve following Covid-19 vaccination.

However, a recent survey by the You + ME Registry found that health is as likely to worsen as it is to improve after vaccination compared to controls, for whom health is more likely to stay the same.

About five months after receiving their first or only shot of Covid-19 vaccine, 30% of survey participants with Long Covid indicated their health had improved, 28% reported it had worsened and 42% responded that it had not changed.

This compares to 7% of controls (people who did not have Long Covid) who said their health had improved, 4% who indicated it had worsened and 89% who reported it had not changed. (See Table 1.)

“Anecdotal evidence has suggested that the health of people with Long Covid may improve following Covid-19 vaccination. Our survey indicates that the full picture could be of a dynamic and more complex health condition,” said Oved Amitay, CEO and president of Solve M.E., which founded the You + ME Registry.

“It’s possible that health improves for some and worsens for others, that symptom relief is temporary or that some symptoms seem to be alleviated as others are exacerbated,” Amitay continued. “Yet, these results do not tell us if the reported health changes were caused by vaccination, and more research is needed.”

“Despite the possibility that health may worsen after vaccination, vaccination is likely a better option than risking re-infection or spreading the virus,” Amitay concluded.

Additionally, differences in post-vaccine health status by vaccine manufacturers were not statistically significant. (See Table 2.)

Survey results are based on data collected by the You + ME Registry, which gathers and shares research data on post-viral illnesses. Some participants did not answer every question. Survey data were collected between July 14, 2021 and October 22, 2021.

Table 1. Health Status 22 Weeks* After First/Only Covid-19 Vaccine Shot 

*22 weeks is the median amount of time after vaccination that health status was reported by participants.
**Indicates Long Covid cohort is statistically different from controls.

Table 2. Health Status 22 Weeks* After First/Only Covid-19 Vaccine Shot by Vaccine Manufacturer

*22 weeks is the median amount of time after vaccination that health status was reported by participants.
**Indicates differences in post-vaccine health status by vaccine manufacturer were not statistically significant.

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