Doctors say 60% of patients with long hauler symptoms find relief after COVID vaccine

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Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 9:30 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB’s post COVID treatment program has seen 1,700 patients dealing with long-term COVID symptoms.

Director of the Post COVID treatment program, Dr. Turner Overton, said studies find that about 60% of people saw improvement in their long-term symptoms after the vaccine.

He said about 25% saw no change in their symptoms from the shot and 15% reported their symptoms got worse.

Overton said all three vaccines are included in the results, but more research is still being done to see exactly why the vaccine is making some patients feel better.

Overton says long term symptoms can be uncomfortable and encourages the vaccine for potential relief.

“I think it is exciting to see that not only will the vaccine prevent these people from getting re-infected, and protect their loved ones, but it also may improve their symptomatology,” Overton said.

Dr. Overton said many symptoms improved after the vaccine, but fatigue was the most common problem that people saw go away after getting the shot.

Overton says 65% of their patients are women and 35% are men.

Overton said other viruses can cause residual symptoms too, but the most common for covid are pulmonary symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pains.

He said many patients suffer from loss of taste and smell as well. He said the common and more severe symptoms are neurological and cardiac.

“I think a lot of people have symptoms that last for several weeks,” Overton said. “When we get out to 12 weeks, the people that continue to have symptoms, is really reduced, probably somewhere in the order of 10-15% of people still have persistent symptoms.”

Overton said the more people that get vaccinated, the less people will suffer from long haul symptoms.

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