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Vaccinated man who got Covid-19 says the shot may have saved his life

Published May 25, 2021

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A South African healthcare worker was severely ill with Covid-19 just five weeks after he received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, he says the shot may have saved his life.

The 56-year-old man, who is legally obliged to remain anonymous, said he spent six days in hospital with Covid-19 and pneumonia.

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“I felt that I was sort of let down by the vaccine and asked ‘why me?’ I'm pretty fit and healthy, and I'm in the gym four days a week. I felt a bit hard done by,” he said.

“I got the vaccine, I have no comorbidities, so why did I get so sick? You know what, maybe I was just that 15% of the world who was unlucky but, at the same time, I'm actually lucky because I recovered and I think it's because I had the vaccine.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is a small risk that fully vaccinated people will be infected with Covid-19, this is known as a “breakthrough infection”.

“No vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalised, or die from Covid-19,” read a statement on its website.

The single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine was found in clinical trials to have an efficacy of 85.4% against severe disease and hospitalisation.

The vaccinated health-care worker said he knew that there was a chance he could be infected with the virus but he didn’t think he would be ill to the point of hospitalisation.

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“I was the unlucky percentage of the world where I got sick after receiving the vaccine. The vaccine worked on me and it saved my life because if I didn't have it, I could have been worse. The shot gave me protection, or a certain amount of protection,” he said.

“I was upset when I got Covid-19, even after I was vaccinated, of course I was. In my mind I thought: ’Okay, I'm going to be fine, I’ve been vaccinated and I won’t get infected.’ I just didn’t think I would be in that 15% of people who are unlucky.”

The man received his vaccine on March 22 and tested positive for Covid-19 on April 28. He said he experienced mild symptoms for the first five days after testing positive.

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On the sixth day, he used a finger pulse oximeter and noticed early signs of hypoxia.

“When I realised my stats were going down, I took myself to hospital. After some tests and a CT scan, it was confirmed that I had pneumonia ,” he said.

Once he was on the road to recovery, he consulted some experts and conducted blood tests to determine why he fell ill.

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“They said to me that I had a breakthrough infection, but I had some antibodies.”

The healthcare worker said he was experiencing some lingering Covid-19 symptoms such as a dry cough and fatigue.

“If you are over 60, I would say you should definitely get the vaccine. Because if you are over 60 with a comorbidity, and you get Covid-19, it could be fatal. I would advise people to grab the opportunity.

“I think the government needs to implement the proper rollout and expand it to the whole country as soon as possible,” he said.

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Related Topics:

Covid-19Vaccine

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