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Local health care worker credits mild COVID case to vaccine

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 4:45 PM CDT
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HORSE CAVE, Ky. (WBKO) - While some people have still tested positive for COVID after getting the vaccine, medical experts are reminding people that you cannot get the virus from the vaccine.

“You cannot get COVID from a COVID vaccine, it does not contain any live virus, it does not contain any dead virus,” said Melinda Joyce, Vice President of Corporate Services at Med Center Health.

The data and efficacy indicate that, like the flu vaccine, an individual can still test positive for COVID-19; however, cases will likely be milder.

“My main symptom was fatigue. And for like, four or five days, I just cannot get my temp under 100,” Chel Williams of Horse Cave said as she recalled her battle with COVID-19 as a worker at a long-term care facility.

“So I’m face to face with it. So I know my risk was higher, to catch it.”

Her fight, like some, came after the first dose of the vaccination. She received her first dose on January 11 and then about two weeks later tested positive for COVID-19.

“My immunity wasn’t built up. I wasn’t fully vaccinated,” expressed Williams.

And she’s right. Medical experts continue to remind the public that you can still get COVID after the first shot, and even possibly the second, but your symptoms may not be as severe.

“Even if you get exposed, the vaccine doesn’t mean you’re not going to get COVID. It just means that your symptoms should be very, very mild if you have symptoms at all,” explained Joyce.

That’s how Williams described her experience- mild- attributing this factor to that first shot.

“I didn’t have that many symptoms. And I think because I did have that vaccine, that it helped me get through,” said Williams.

Officials say it’s predicted that the vaccine is about 80% effective after the first dose and 95-96% effective after the second, depending on the vaccine. It takes two weeks after each shot to reach these levels takes two weeks after each shot.

“So it is not possible to get COVID from the vaccine itself. So if somebody does get the vaccine, and then they test positive for COVID, most likely that means they’ve been exposed to someone else that had COVID,” explained Joyce. “You could still become exposed to someone, and then having just one dose still should help decrease those symptoms and make them not as severe.”

The biggest thing the vaccine does is decrease hospitalization and death in most cases.

“Although we have seen some severe cases here and there. But overall, it’s a much milder case when somebody has been fully vaccinated,” said Joyce.

Meanwhile, after a positive test, Williams says she never once lost faith in the vaccine. As a frontline hero, she says she saw the positive impacts of the shot firsthand which provided hope in a year of darkness for her residents.

“These residents and long-term care, they have literally been locked in their rooms. No families, no nothing, just us,” she said. “The first day after all of our residents and us had started our vaccines, just for them to be able to open the doors to their rooms and have their masks on and come out in the hall, I mean, it brought tears to my eyes.”

Med Center Health says they’re seeing some people not come back for their second dose because they think they are protected. However, they say the best way to be protected is in fact getting that second dose so you have the higher effectiveness in beating COVID.

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