Vaccinated ER Nurse Tests Positive For COVID-19 Days After Getting Vaccine

An emergency room nurse tested positive for COVID-19 over a week after getting the Pfizer vaccine, an ABC affiliate reported Monday.

A 45-year-old ER nurse identified as Matthew W., works for two hospitals San Diego, California, tested positive for COVID-19 eight days after receiving the vaccine, though experts say he could have been exposed prior to receiving the vaccine, 10 News reported.

“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, 10 News reported.

California ER nurse tests positive for COVID-19 a week after getting vaccine

— New York Post (@nypost) December 30, 2020


Matthew said that his arm was sore after getting the vaccine but reported no other side effects, according to 10 News.

After working a shift in a COVID-19 unit, Matthew said he had the chills which developed into muscle aches and fatigue on Dec. 24, 10 News reported. Ramers said it’s likely that Matthew was infected before he got the vaccine since the incubation period can be as long as two weeks.

“We know from the vaccine clinical trials that it’s going to take about 10 to 14 days for you to start to develop protection from the vaccine,” Ramers said, 10 News reported.

Ramers mentioned multiple other cases of local health care workers testing positive for COVID-19 around the same time they got the vaccine, 10 News reported. He said that the cases demonstrate the results of the vaccine aren’t effective immediately.

“That first dose we think gives you somewhere around 50%, and you need that second dose to get up to 95%,” Ramers said, 10 News reported.

Ramers said that health practitioners talk about the vaccine “being the beginning of the end, but it’s going to be a slow roll, weeks to months as we roll out the vaccine,” Ramers said, 10 News reported.

Ramers said that the vaccines won’t immediately change the state of the pandemic and that PPE and practicing good hygiene are still important after getting a vaccine, 10 News reported.

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