Impact of COVID-19 Vaccination on Short-Term Perceived Change in Physical Performance among Elite Athletes: An International Survey

Olivier Bruyère, Géraldine Martens*, Céline Demonceau, Axel Urhausen, Romain Seil, Suzanne Leclerc, Sébastien Le Garrec, Philippe Le Van, Pascal Edouard, Philippe M. Tscholl, François Delvaux, Jean François Toussaint, Jean François Kaux, on behalf of the Réseau Francophone Olympique de la Recherche en Médecine du Sport (ReFORM) Research Centre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


COVID-19 vaccination raised concerns about its potential effects on physical performance. To assess the impact of COVID-19 vaccination on the perceived change in physical performance, we conducted an online survey among elite athletes from Belgium, Canada, France and Luxembourg, with questions about socio-demographics, COVID-19 vaccination, perceived impact on physical performance and perceived pressure to get vaccinated. Full vaccination was defined as two doses of mRNA or vector vaccine or a heterologous vaccine scheme. Among 1106 eligible athletes contacted, 306 athletes answered the survey and were included in this study. Of these, 72% perceived no change in their physical performance, 4% an improvement and 24% a negative impact following full COVID-19 vaccination. For 82% of the included athletes, the duration of the negative vaccine reactions was ≤3 days. After adjustment for potential confounding variables, practicing an individual sport, a duration of vaccine reactions longer than 3 days, a high level of vaccine reaction and the perceived pressure to get vaccinated were independently associated with a perceived negative impact on physical performance of more than 3 days after the vaccination. The perceived pressure to get vaccinated appears to be a parameter associated with the negative perceived change in the physical performance and deserves further consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number796
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • athletes
  • athletic performance
  • elite
  • immunization
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • sports


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