Written by Ondine Sherwood, originally published on LongCovidSOS.org
Read the report here, preprint link will be updated here
LongCovidSOS, in collaboration with Dr David Strain at the University of Exeter Medical School, Dr Jeremy Rossman, University of Kent and Zero Covid Alliance have published the results of the largest survey to date on the impact of vaccination for people with Long Covid.
Since the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine programme, there has been concern among those with Long Covid that by stimulating the immune response, vaccination could exacerbate their symptoms. Others however have reported improvement after vaccination. It’s estimated that more than 1 million people in the UK are suffering from Long Covid with no proven treatment or cure, although research into the condition is now in the early stages.
Nine hundred people with very similar demographics to the population described in the ONS report in April responded to the LongCovidSOS survey. The survey looked at before and after scores across 14 common symptoms. The results demonstrate that:
A subsequent analysis explored if there were any differences between the Adenoviral Vector vaccines (AstraZeneca/Oxford, Johnson & Johnson - 'AdV'), and the mRNA vaccines Pfizer-BioNTec and Moderna
Ondine Sherwood from LongCovidSOS said “We hope that people with Long Covid are reassured by the results of this survey, and don’t hesitate to have any of the vaccines on offer. These data show that many people do improve after vaccination and only a small proportion get worse. These changes might be temporary for some people. We hope that this information will lead to controlled clinical trials so that we can find out whether vaccines might have therapeutic use for those with Long Covid”
“The vaccination program is vital in preventing reinfection for people with Long Covid. These results do give cause for cautious optimism”, said Dr Strain of the University of Exeter Medical School. “Despite all of the caveats around observational data, self-reporting of symptoms and a lack of time control, the overwhelmingly positive response in people who had been suffering for up to 12 months, suggests that, at worst, vaccination will not cause a deterioration for those living with Long Covid, and potentially may be of benefit. If confirmed, this benefit could provide hope for many more, as it demonstrates that for some people, Long Covid does respond to treatment, and now we need to explore alternative therapeutics for the rest.”
Dr Jeremy Rossman from the University of Kent said: “This study is an important first step in showing that COVID-19 vaccines may be safe and beneficial for people with Long Covid.”