Background: Patients who have had COVID-19 often report persistent symptoms after resolution of their acute illness. Recent reports suggest that vaccination may be associated with improvement in post-acute symptoms. We used data from a prospective cohort to assess differences in post-acute sequelae of COVID (PASC) among vaccinated vs. unvaccinated patients.
Methods: We used data from a cohort of COVID-19 patients enrolled into a prospective registry established at a tertiary care health system in New York City. Participants underwent a baseline evaluation before COVID-19 vaccines were available and were followed 6 months later. We compared unadjusted and propensity score-adjusted baseline to 6-month change for several PASC-related symptoms and measures: anosmia, respiratory (cough, dyspnea, phlegm, wheezing), depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; COVID-19-related and other trauma), and quality-of-life domains among participants who received vs. those who did not receive COVID-19 vaccination.
Results: The study included 453 COVID-19 patients with PASC, of which 324 (72%) were vaccinated between the baseline and 6-month visit. Unadjusted analyses did not show significant differences in the baseline to 6-month change in anosmia, respiratory symptoms, depression, anxiety, PTSD, or quality of life (p > 0.05 for all comparisons) among vaccinated vs. unvaccinated patients. Similar results were found in propensity-adjusted comparisons and in secondary analyses based on the number of vaccine doses received.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that COVID vaccination is not associated with improvement in PASC. Additional studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying PASC and to develop effective treatments.
Keywords: COVID vaccination; long COVID; post-acute sequelae of COVID; symptoms.
© 2022. The Author(s) under exclusive licence to Society of General Internal Medicine.