BALTIMORE (WJZ) — By now, you’ve probably heard of COVID long-haulers, people who got COVID and have long-term symptoms even after they’ve technically recovered.

Tramaine Washington said she was one of those people.

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“I struggle with fatigue, I struggle with forgetfulness,” Washington said.

Washington, however, said she has been feeling better since she got her COVID-19 vaccine.

“I had more energy,” Washington said. “I was able to keep up in my Zumba class and I’m able to remember. It has just been amazing.”


The group Survivors Corp polled 962 long-haulers and found 46% said they remained the same after the vaccine, 14% felt worse and 39% improved after the shot.

Researchers at Yale University are now launching a study, collecting blood and saliva samples to compare the immune response before and after long-haulers get the vaccine.

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They want to see if it does, in fact, help.

“The vaccine induces robust anti-body and T-cell responses that can clear the viral reservoir or remnants that cause the inflammation, and that would be a permanent solution to long COVID,” Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, Professor of Immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine, said.

One theory is that long COVID is driven by a hyper-active auto-immune response and that the vaccine reduces that reaction.

“The headaches are definitely the most debilitating thing next to the brain fog,” Ellyeas Abusada, a COVID long-hauler, said.

Abusada, a student at Ohio State University, has had one dose of the vaccine and hopes his second shot alleviates his debilitating symptoms.

“I’m hoping and praying after that second dose that things will go back to normal,” Abusada said.

Yale researchers say the findings from this particular study could be helpful in tackling other diseases that are caused by viruses, like chronic fatigue syndrome.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachel Menitoff