As a large number of the people who contract COVID-19 will have Long-COVID, and may become disabled, this presents a significant issue in terms of livelihood. Many people, including Nataly and Jessica, have lost their jobs due to Long-COVID symptoms. As of July 26, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration released Long-COVID Guidance for workers and employers and announced that some patients may be eligible for disability benefits. Individuals must qualify under the ADA Section 504, which states that the impairment substantially limits major life activities and functions. Is Long-COVID always a disability? No. It ranges in severity from patient to patient. But now those who do become disabled have a means to financial stability and health insurance.
The UK Health Security Agency collected information from fifteen studies on the effectiveness of vaccines against the development of Long-COVID, and put their findings in one evidence briefing. Overall, the evidence suggests that fewer vaccinated people develop Long-COVID than unvaccinated people. The Agency explained that three out of four studies that compared Long-COVID symptoms before and after receiving the vaccine, saw improvements in the days and weeks to follow.
One study in the briefing concluded that those who got vaccinated after their diagnosis were less likely to experience Long-COVID symptoms down the road. Alexis described her experience with the Moderna Vaccine. After her first dose, she felt significant relief for a few days, and after the second dose has seen much improvement in her brain fog and fatigue.
“I am more sensitive to things like changes in temperature. I still have some vein issues that have been ongoing, and I still have my rashes,” She said. “But I’m in a lot better shape than a lot of other Long-Haulers,” she said.
The brightest gleam of hope comes from the patients themselves. Many have gotten better over time, or at least have seen some improvement. Nataly still has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but is managing it and is able to drive again. Jessica has flares of brain fog and occasional fatigue, but it’s not constant anymore. Courtney regained her taste and smell. Jen still struggles with brain fog but she no longer spikes fevers. Zach hasn’t had any more psychological issues. Andrew’s symptoms have resolved. Gena E is turning a corner with the help of supplements and other homeopathic treatments. I haven’t had to use my inhaler in three months. Maybe we’re in it for the “not-much-longer-haul.”