The COVID-19 vaccine is not immediately effective, so it's important to continue following public health safety protocols like wearing masks, sanitizing, etc.
Even with the COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out to the public, public health safety measures like washing hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing will continue to be important. After all, it's not just about others' safety but ours too, and the vaccine isn't a panacea. This became amply clear when a nurse in California, who had received one shot of the Pfizer/BioNTeach vaccine, tested positive for the virus.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine provides 95% protection from the virus, which caused a pandemic, if we take two shots of it, but the nurse from San Diego didn't get two shots. Matthew W., a 45-year-old nurse in San Diego, California, received his first shot on December 18, according to 10News. The ER nurse, who works at two different local hospitals, said that the only repercussion of the vaccine was a sore arm for a day. He didn't face any other side effects.
However, just six days later on Christmas Eve, he got sick after working a shift in the COVID-19 unit. He experienced chills and also came down with muscle aches and fatigue. One day after Christmas, he visited a drive-up hospital testing site, where he 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 is part of the clinical advisory panel for the county’s vaccine rollout.
Dr. Christian said that it's possible the nurse got infected even before receiving the vaccine. The virus can take up to two weeks to show up, as that's its incubation period. The infectious disease specialist also added that even if the 45-year-old contracted it later, it's not something to be surprised about.
"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," said Dr. Ramers. He added he knows several other local cases where health care workers became infected almost around the time they received the vaccine. Instead of panicking, the doctor said that it is to be expected and shows that the vaccine isn't immediately effective. "That first dose we think gives you somewhere around 50%, and you need that second dose to get up to 95%," said he.
The UK medicine regulator has approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use in the UK— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) December 30, 2020
For more on this and other news visit https://t.co/8OWd2TvLrt
He also added that even with the vaccine, the pandemic isn't going away instantly. "You hear heath practitioners being very optimistic about it being the beginning of the end, but it’s going to be a slow roll, weeks to months as we roll out the vaccine," said the doctor, reminding us again that we need to continue taking safety measures.
Yeah, it takes about two weeks to build immunity. This isn't news.— Matt (@mxpondo) December 30, 2020
The vaccine has been rolled out in the UK, the USA, Singapore, and it has been approved in Canada. The USA alone has decided to buy 100 million more doses, which are expected to be delivered by July 31, as per USA Today. As per the nearly $2 billion deal, the drugmakers will deliver at least 70 million additional doses by June 30 and the rest 30 million no later than July 31. The government also has the option to buy an additional 400 million doses.