Spanish Fort woman and husband contract COVID despite vaccination; state officials say ‘breakthrough’ infections are rare | COVID-19 coronavirus news
SPANISH FORT, Alabama (WALA) – Laura Allen was among those lining up early for an injection of the COVID-19 vaccine. Since she is a healthcare worker and her husband is a firefighter, both were eligible for the first wave.
And the Spanish Fort wife said she had extra motivation – her brother-in-law died of the illness in January.
“The day he died, we made an appointment to get vaccinated,” she said.
Allen said she received the Pfizer version of the vaccine in February and believed her coronavirus fears were over. She showed her and her husband the vaccination cards to a reporter.
But earlier this month, she Allen and her husband both started to feel bad. At first they thought it was allergies, then maybe a bad cold.
Tests confirmed the unlikely: both were positive for COVID-19.
“What the hell?” she said, remembering her reaction when the test came back positive. “We have been vaccinated.
Allen and her husband aren’t the only family members who are fully vaccinated and infected. She said she had a cousin in Baldwin County who is currently battling COVID, along with her mother and daughter. All three, she said, were fully vaccinated.
Health care experts have said they expect some vaccinated people to contract the virus because no vaccine is 100% effective. The Alabama Department of Public Health has identified 1,663 residents who were fully vaccinated but still contracted the virus. This is about 1 tenth of 1% of the more than 1.5 million people vaccinated.
Since many vaccinated people who contract the virus have a mild case or no symptoms, the actual number is likely to be higher. But Dr Karen Landers, the deputy state health worker, told FOX10 News that the vaccines have been shown to be exceptionally effective.
“There certainly could be other cases, but we haven’t reported them,” she said. “But I think the number is still extremely low.”
In fact, Landers said, nearly three times as many people in the state have been infected with COVID-19 more than once. This is all the more important given that nearly three times as many people have been vaccinated than having contracted the virus as a whole.
“We are able to document a lot more re-infections than we see from vaccinated people receiving COVID,” said Rendi Murphree, director of the Office of Disease Surveillance and Environmental Services in the Mobile County Health Department.
Landers said the decrease in natural immunity is one of the reasons people should get vaccinated even if they have had the disease before, although she added that people should wait 90 years. they received treatment with monoclonal antibodies.
Murphree, speaking on a live Facebook show on Monday, estimated that up to two-thirds of vaccinated people who contract the virus do not have symptoms.
“Even if they are infected, they will have a very mild illness,” she said.
Dr Bill Admire, vice president and chief medical officer of the Infirmary Health System, made the point at a press conference on Friday.
“If you are vaccinated you will have a much better chance of avoiding contact with the disease and showing symptoms,” he said. “And if you have symptoms, they are less severe than if you weren’t vaccinated.”
The Landers agree the data backs this up. The vast majority of people hospitalized for COVID-19 have not been vaccinated. Of the more than 500 Alabamians who have died of the disease since April 1, only 20 have been fully vaccinated.
“The people who died who had been fully vaccinated, had underlying health issues, other problems or were people in high-risk age groups,” she said.
The Delta variant, first identified in India, has recently gained a lot of attention as health officials warn it is more contagious than the original virus. Landers said the vaccines have been shown to be effective against him. But she warned that might not always be the case with future variants.
“The bigger problem is that the longer we allow these variants to circulate, the more opportunities we give the virus to mutate, so we will have a variant that is beyond the effectiveness of the vaccine,” she said. .
As for Allen, the ultrasound technician said it was strange that she survived the entire pandemic by working in healthcare to catch the virus after being vaccinated. She said several firefighters at her husband’s station had contracted the virus, leading her to believe that it likely passed it on to her. But she added that she can’t be sure. She said she also didn’t know which variant she had.
Allen said the illness first presented as symptoms of colds and coughs. She added that the fatigue worsened.
“I knew something was really wrong when I had to take a nap at work one day,” she said.
Despite the ordeal, Allen said she was not sorry she received the vaccine. She said it didn’t hurt her and maybe it made her illness less serious,
“It really wasn’t that bad,” she said.
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