ER nurse tests positive for COVID a week after getting vaccine


A nurse in California tested positive for COVID-19 several days after receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

Matthew W., an ER nurse at two hospitals, posted a Facebook message about receiving the Pfizer vaccine on December 18.

According to KGTV San Diego, the 45-year-old nurse said his arm was sore for only a day but suffered no other side effects.

After working a shift in the COVID-19 unit, six days later, the nurse became sick on Christmas Eve. He eventually experienced chills and later came down with muscle aches and fatigue. The day after Christmas, the nurse went to a 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,” Dr. Christian Ramers, an infectious disease specialist with Family Health Centers of San Diego, said.

Ramers explained how it is quite possible that Matthew contracted COVID-19 before receiving the shot. He added that it takes about two weeks for the first dose of the vaccine to kick in.

“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. “That first dose we think gives you somewhere around 50%, and you need that second dose to get up to 95 percent.”

Dr. Ramers said that people should still follow protocols such as hand washing and wearing face masks even if they have received a vaccine.

While Matthew tested positive, Ramers said how he knows of several other local cases where health care workers became infected around the same time they received the vaccine.

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