COVID-19 'long hauler' talks about receiving vaccine, positive effects

Covid Lungs
Posted at 6:29 AM, Mar 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-07 15:30:51-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Amanda Finley calls herself a COVID-19 "long hauler."

Finley, who lives in the Kansas City area, said she was still having side effects months after contracting the virus.

Before she received the vaccine, she was going to countless doctor's appointments in hopes of figuring out how to feel better.

Finley said she was worried about what reaction the vaccine would have, but she never expected this.

"My heart rate is normal now," she said. "I can breathe better now. I can go up the stairs and I don't feel like I am going to die."

Doctors at The University of Kansas Health System said they don't believe it's the vaccine that helped Finley, but the timing could simply be a coincidence.

"If you have some of that inflammatory fluid and tissue in the lung, that gives you shortness of breath and cough," Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an infectious disease specialist with KU Health System, said. "But with brain fog and fatigue, I don't think we know the mechanisms (effects) of that.

"I don't believe that there's a mechanism (effect) that we can envision by getting the vaccine, which again right now you make an immune response to the spike protein, I don't see that resolving any of those."

Dr. Steve Stites, KU Health System's chief medical officer, had similar thoughts. He doesn't think one caused the other.

"I would say it would be 'true, true and unrelated,' meaning that it's about time your long-haul symptoms go away and you got the COVID vaccine," Stites said.

Finley said either way, she is thrilled to be feeling better.

She runs a long-haulers Facebook page and she said several people who are on that page also reported feeling better after receiving the vaccine.