As the highly touted Covid vaccine makes its way into the arms of nurses, doctors, elderly, and others who are immuno-compromised, it appears as though it isn’t as effective as we were led to believe. An ER nurse in San Diego received his Covid vaccination last week. Seven days later, he started feeling symptoms, and tested positive for the virus the next day.
Cue the experts, who tell us this isn’t uncommon, it’s what they expect, and this is only one of many cases where a vaccinated individual still contracted the virus. The goalposts seem to be moved again, as some are now saying that those receiving the vaccination will need a second shot about 30 days later. Meanwhile, the person is still susceptible to the virus, as the first dose is only about 50% effective.
In a Facebook message posted on December 18, Matthew W., an ER nurse at two different local hospitals, talked about receiving the Pfizer vaccine that day. He told ABC 10News his arm was sore for a day but he suffered no other side effects.
Six days later on Christmas Eve — after working a shift in the COVID-19 unit — Matthew, 45, became sick. He got the chills and later came down with muscle aches and fatigue.
The day after Christmas, he went to a drive-up hospital testing site and tested positive for COVID-19.
“It’s not unexpected at all. If you work through the numbers, this is exactly what we’d expect to happen if someone was exposed,” said Dr. Christian Ramers, an infectious disease specialist with Family Health Centers of San Diego. He serves on the clinical advisory panel for the county’s vaccine rollout.
Dr. Ramers says he knows of several other local cases where health care workers became infected around the time they received the vaccine. He says all the cases illustrate the fact that results aren’t immediate. Even after you start receiving some protection, it won’t be full protection.
“That first dose we think gives you somewhere around 50%, and you need that second dose to get up to 95%,” said Dr. Ramers.
No telling what tune they will change next.