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Vaccinated US nurse contracts COVID-19, expert says Pfizer shot needed more time to work: Report

Vaccinated US nurse contracts COVID-19, expert says Pfizer shot needed more time to work: Report

Syringes with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are seen at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, US, Dec 15, 2020. (File photo: REUTERS/Marco Bello)

WASHINGTON: A nurse in California tested positive for COVID-19 more than a week after receiving Pfizer's vaccine, an ABC News affiliate reported on Tuesday (Dec 29), but a medical expert said the body needs more time to build up protection.

Pfizer "will review all available information on this case and all reports of any confirmed diagnosis following vaccination," the drug maker said in a statement to Reuters.

"Based on our Phase 3 safety and efficacy study, the vaccine provides some protection against COVID-19 within about 10 days of the first dose and substantially boosted after the second dose, supporting the need for a 2-dose vaccination series", it said.

"Individuals may have contracted disease prior to or right after vaccination", the statement added.

Matthew W, 45, a nurse at two different local hospitals, said in a Facebook post on Dec 18 that he had received the Pfizer vaccine, telling the ABC News affiliate that his arm was sore for a day but that he had suffered no other side-effects.

READ: NCID nurse becomes first person in Singapore to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Six days later on Dec 24, he became sick after working a shift in the COVID-19 unit, the report added. He got the chills and later came down with muscle aches and fatigue.

He went to a drive-up hospital testing site and tested positive for COVID-19 the day after Christmas, the report said.

Christian Ramers, an infectious disease specialist with Family Health Centers of San Diego, told the ABC News affiliate that this scenario was not unexpected.

"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 per cent, and you need that second dose to get up to 95 per cent," Ramers added.

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Source: Reuters/dv


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