The vaccine isn’t just about life and death

The vaccine isn’t just about life and death

The number of new cases of COVID-19 continues to drop in both Illinois and Wisconsin as more people get vaccinated and the country experiences what seems like a lull in the pandemic.

But people who have already lived with the vaccine earlier in the pandemic might still be dealing with symptoms months after first catching the virus. They’re known as long-haulers, and Advocate Aurora Health Executive Medical Director of Infectious Disease and Prevention Dr. Robert Citronberg says that as many as one-third of people who get COVID-19 might have these long-term symptoms.

Dr. Citronberg says that’s one reason why getting a vaccine when it’s available to you is so important. While the vaccines will save lives, they also can help prevent long-term illness.

“It’s not just about life or death,” Dr. Citronberg said during a Facebook Live discussion this week. “It’s about living with COVID after you have it.”

Dr. Jacqueline Ivey-Brown, an internal medicine physician based in Oak Lawn, says she’s seen patients who are dealing with longer-term heart and lung issues, as well as depression and chronic fatigue after COVID-19 cases from months before. She says it’s important to talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling.

“I would say to patients, if you experience this, you are not alone,” Dr. Ivey-Brown said.

The experts made these comments during a Facebook Live event, when they answered viewer questions about vaccines, COVID-19, masks and other issues. You can watch the discussion on Facebook, or the full video is available below.

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One Comment

  1. Gregg Schneider March 1, 2021 at 1:53 pm · Reply

    I was infected with covid the last week in December, 2020. I am 68 years old and do not have any underlying conditions to my knowledge. It is now March 1, 2021. I am much better but still have some residual symptoms such as some fatigue periodically. Can i still take the vaccine with these periodic symptoms ? If I can take the vaccine, would one vaccination be adequate for me ? Thanks.

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About the Author

Mike Riopell
Mike Riopell

Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.