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Mysterious ailment, mysterious relief: Vaccines help some COVID long-haulers

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An estimated 10% to 30% of people who get COVID-19 suffer from lingering symptoms of the disease, or what's known as "long COVID."

Judy Dodd, who lives in New York City, is one of them. She spent nearly a year plagued by headaches, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue and problems with smell, among other symptoms.

She says she worried that this "slog through life" was going to be her new normal.

Everything changed after she got her COVID-19 vaccine.

"I was like a new person, it was the craziest thing ever," says Dodd, referring to how many of her health problems subsided significantly after her second shot.

And she's not alone. As the U.S. pushes to get people vaccinated, a curious benefit is emerging for those with this post-illness syndrome: Their symptoms are easing and, in some cases, fully resolving after they get vaccinated.

Judy Dodd suffered lingering symptoms of COVID-19 for nearly a year, until she got her vaccine.

It's the latest clue in the immunological puzzle of long COVID, a still poorly understood condition that leaves some who get infected with wide-ranging symptoms months after the initial illness.

The notion that a vaccine aimed at preventing the disease may also be a treatment has sparked optimism among patients, and scientists who study the post-illness syndrome are taking a close look at these stories.

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Source: NPR, 31 March 2021

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