Medical experts warn fully vaccinated people could still contract COVID-19
While more and more Long Islanders are queuing up to get the COVID-19 vaccine, there are growing reports of fully vaccinated people still contracting coronavirus.
"They say everything is going to be all right after you get the vaccine, but you never know," said Mary Sloan, who got her second dose of the vaccine on Sunday. As a coronavirus survivor, she doesn't want to go through that experience again, but there are reports from the Hawaii State Department of Health that three fully vaccinated residents contracted COVID-19. Chief of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at Northwell Health Dr. Bruce Farber said he's not surprised.
"Certainly at Northwell, we have seen cases of COVID occurring in people fully vaccinated, even several weeks after they have received their vaccination," Farber says.
Experts say even after getting the vaccine, it can take several weeks for the body to develop a level of immunity. They add none of the vaccines are 100% effective. The Pfizer vaccine is believed to be 95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in the U.S., Moderna is 94.1% effective and Johnson and Johnson's is 72%. So at those rates, Farber said there are going to be some who still could contract the virus.
"Even though it may not 100% prevent you from getting COVID, it will prevent you all of these vaccines, including the J&J will prevent you from dying, being in a hospital and getting critically ill from this," Farber said.
Bottom line, medical professionals say even if one is fully vaccinated, it is still important right now to continue wearing masks and follow social distancing guidelines.
When you are in public, masks are important," Farber said.
Woodbury resident Mia Dolin said she is fully vaccinated but will still keep her mask on.
"I feel happy that I have both shots and I feel a sense of protection, but I am still being cautions," Dolin said.
Meantime, Hawaii officials say a fourth person who only received their first dose of the vaccine contacted the more virulent U.K. variant of the Coronavirus as well.