Some COVID-19 ‘long-haulers’ wonder about effects of vaccines

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While many can’t wait to get the vaccine, there are others that are unsure about it or simply don’t want to get it.

“I am having brain fog,” Linda Henderson, a so-called COVID-19 long hauler, said.

Henderson considers herself a part of a group of people called long-haulers due to their persistent COVID-19-related symptoms.

She got the virus in summer 2020 but is still feeling some symptoms to this day.

“It’s like having a concussion as a head injury, like brain rest is the only way to kind of heal that,” Henderson said. “That is what I have been doing is trying to do those things.”

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Now, she is unsure about the vaccine.

“They have had to do it in a hurry and I appreciate that. It’s the autoimmune component of COVID that I am concerned about with getting the vaccine,” Henderson siad. “I think other people need to get it to help us all survive this, but I am going to wait and see what some of the long term effects are.”

Dr. Sarah Boyd at Saint Luke’s Health System said a vaccine could be good for long haulers.

“There have been some small studies of COVID long-haulers or that post COVID syndrome that sometimes their symptoms improve after vaccination as well,” Boyd said. “About 27 percent of that small group actually had some improvement.”

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Henderson said she is doing everything to keep herself and others near her safe.

“I am masking everywhere I go, distancing and I just don’t go anywhere very much either,” Henderson said. “I just stay home most of the time.”

Until her mind is more at ease, Henderson says she’ll wait until she can see further research. She hopes one day to be back to fully living her life.

“I hope I can work again. I hope I am able to be active more hours during the day,” Henderson said. “If I didn’t have the autoimmune situation, I would be getting it. I just think it’s too many unknowns to put together right now.”

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