Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 may decrease the symptoms of post-COVID conditions (PCC), such as abdominal pain and weakness, concluded a team of Mayo Clinic researchers in a newly publishedstudy in the Journal of Investigative Medicine.1

Findings from the observational study showed that participants who received a COVID-19 vaccine before contracting SARS-CoV-2 and requested care for PCC at the Mayo Clinic reported less abdominal pain, anosmia, parosmia, chest pain/tightness, dizziness, numbness/tingling, dyspnea, spells/tremors, and weakness.1

"These results were quite surprising to us," said lead author Greg Vanichkachorn, MD, medical director of Mayo Clinic's COVID Activity Rehabilitation Program, in a press release. "This study shows that vaccines can be really important for long-haul COVID and can help reduce the severity of the condition."2

According to the Mayo Clinic, research has shown that between 1 month and 1 year after being infected with COVID-19, 1 in 5 persons aged 18-64 years has at least 1 medical condition that could be due to COVID-19 and 1 in 4 persons aged ≥65 years reported the same. Common symptoms of PCC include fatigue, fever, respiratory symptoms (eg, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath and cough), and the symptoms get worse after physical or mental effort.3

Vanichkachorn and colleagues conducted the current study to assess whether COVID-19 vaccination can alter the clinical presentation of PCC, according to the study abstract.1


The study population included 477 patients who sought treatment for PCC at the Mayo Clinic between May 27, 2021, and July 26, 2022.A total of 245 (51.4%) of participants were vaccinated before COVID-19 infection.1

Researchers noted that vaccinated participants with PCC were half as likely to report experiencing abdominal pain compared with unvaccinated subjects.2

Vaccinated participants were also less likely to report other symptoms of PCC including anosmia, parosmia, chest pain/tightness, dizziness, numbness/tingling, dyspnea, spells/tremors, and weakness.1

When investigators analyzed hospitalized patients with PCC, vaccinated participants reported less chest pain, cough, dizziness, and dyspnea. In addition, after Vanichkachorn and coauthors applied Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons, they found that decreased abdominal pain remained significant.1

"It has been three years since we first started working with patients who have Long COVID," said Vanichkachorn. "We need more research to get an understanding of what is going on at the cellular level to cause these symptoms. If we can better understand that it will hopefully bring about new treatments for long-haul COVID.”2


  1. Vanichkachorn G, Gilman E, Ganesh R, et al. Potential reduction of post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 symptoms via vaccination. J Investig Med. Published online August 23, 2023. doi:10.1177/10815589231191812
  2. Mayo researchers find vaccine may reduce severity of long-haul COVID symptoms. Heather Carlson Kehren. News release. August 23, 2023. Accessed August 31, 2023.
  3. COVID-19: Long-term effects. Mayo Clinic Staff. Published June 22, 2023. Accessed August 31, 2023.

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