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New York City veterinarian Erin Kulick used to be a weekend warrior. Only 2½ years ago, the 38-year-old new mother played ultimate Frisbee and flag football with friends. She went for regular 30-minute runs to burn off stress.

Now, Kulick is usually so exhausted, she can’t walk nonstop for 15 minutes. She recently tried to take her 4-year-old son, Cooper, to the American Museum of Natural History for his first visit, but ended up on a bench outside the museum, sobbing in the rain, because she couldn’t even get through the first hurdle of standing in line. “I just wanted to be there with my kid,” she says.

Kulick got sick with COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, 9 months before the first vaccine would be approved. Now she is among the estimated one in five infected Americans, or 19 percent, whose symptoms developed into long COVID.

Kulick also is now vaccinated and boosted. Had a vaccine been available sooner, could it have protected her from long COVID?

Evidence is starting to show it’s likely. Head over to WebMD to read the full story.