Post-Vaccination Syndrome: A Descriptive Analysis of Reported Symptoms and Patient Experiences After Covid-19 Immunization

medRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Nov 10:2023.11.09.23298266. doi: 10.1101/2023.11.09.23298266.


Introduction: A chronic post-vaccination syndrome (PVS) after covid-19 vaccination has been reported but has yet to be well characterized.

Methods: We included 241 individuals aged 18 and older who self-reported PVS after covid-19 vaccination and who joined the online Yale Listen to Immune, Symptom and Treatment Experiences Now (LISTEN) Study from May 2022 to July 2023. We summarized their demographics, health status, symptoms, treatments tried, and overall experience.

Results: The median age of participants was 46 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 38 to 56), with 192 (80%) identifying as female, 209 (87%) as non-Hispanic White, and 211 (88%) from the United States. Among these participants with PVS, 127 (55%) had received the BNT162b2 [Pfizer-BioNTech] vaccine, and 86 (37%) received the mRNA-1273 [Moderna] vaccine. The median time from the day of index vaccination to symptom onset was three days (IQR: 1 day to 8 days). The time from vaccination to symptom survey completion was 595 days (IQR: 417 to 661 days). The median Euro-QoL visual analogue scale score was 50 (IQR: 39 to 70). The five most common symptoms were exercise intolerance (71%), excessive fatigue (69%), numbness (63%), brain fog (63%), and neuropathy (63%). In the week before survey completion, participants reported feeling unease (93%), fearfulness (82%), and overwhelmed by worries (81%), as well as feelings of helplessness (80%), anxiety (76%), depression (76%), hopelessness (72%), and worthlessness (49%) at least once. Participants reported a median of 20 (IQR: 13 to 30) interventions to treat their condition.

Conclusions: In this study, individuals who reported PVS after covid-19 vaccination had low health status, high symptom burden, and high psychosocial stress despite trying many treatments. There is a need for continued investigation to understand and treat this condition.

Publication types

  • Preprint