Could Vaccines Alleviate Symptoms of Long Covid-19?

Yale professor Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, shares a working hypothesis

A pandemic, by definition, is a time of devastation. This particular pandemic has wrought severe devastation in an unbearably dark and heavy year. And yet, it has also been a time of astounding progress.

Bobbing and weaving among the shadows, the bright light of science has been mesmerizing to watch. Vaccines have emerged at breakneck speed. Epidemiologists and virologists have pioneered new advances in untested territory. And all of it has happened in real time — before our sad, tired eyes.

Of course there’s still plenty of work to be done, particularly when it comes to the mysterious, multifaceted, and often debilitating experience of long Covid-19 —the long-term effects of the disease that have sidelined thousands, if not millions, worldwide.

A conversation is now underway among leading scientists as to whether vaccines could, in fact, improve long Covid-19. Because some people with long Covid-19 have experienced varying degrees of resolved symptoms after being vaccinated, further review beckons.

Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, an expert immunologist and professor at Yale School of Medicine, is poised to probe further. In a piece for Elemental, Iwasaki lays out her working hypothesis as to the cause(s) of long Covid-19 and goes on to detail what a trial to discern “vaccine-mediated improvement in long Covid-19” might look like. “The outcome of the trial can tell us both what may be driving long Covid as well as which therapies are likely to work best,” she writes.

Iwasaki’s piece — and more importantly, her work — is indeed a bright light shining necessary focus on one of the many layers of the menacing Covid-19 puzzle that is yet to be solved.

Read more on Elemental:



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Kate Green Tripp

Kate Green Tripp

Writer / Editor / Strategist. I chase ideas and shape stories about health, science, culture, and innovation. Mostly, I belong outside.