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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - LONDON: Anecdotal reports that people with long COVID are making dramatic recoveries after being vaccinated are intriguing and should be followed up with formal studies, according to scientists.
While most people recover quickly from COVID-19, roughly one in 10 people experience symptoms that include fatigue, headaches and shortness of breath three months later — a phenomenon known as long COVID.
But some of these patients are reporting rapid improvements to their health after receiving the vaccine, doctors have said.
“This is a very interesting and potentially important observation,” said Charles Bangham, who holds the chair in immunology at Imperial College London. “At present these are just anecdotes, and systematic studies would be needed, but anecdotes can sometimes point the way to important discoveries.”
Prof. Ian Hall, who runs a long COVID clinic in Nottingham, said he has been contacted by several patients who told him their symptoms improved dramatically after a jab.
It is possible, he said, that being vaccinated gives some people a “psychological boost” that causes them to feel better.
“But I think, anecdotally, that there is enough here to suggest that there might be some interesting consequences of the vaccine, presumably altering the immunological balance, which is contributing to resolution of low-grade inflammation, which is making people feel better,” he added.
“I would not go as far as to say it proves a connection, but science is based upon following up interesting observations.”
The World Health Organization has warned that the burden of long COVID is “real” and “significant.”
King’s College London is running a project tracking 600,000 people who have received COVID-19 vaccines.
The study’s lead scientist Tim Spector said he hopes to have data on how vaccines affect long COVID within weeks.
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