Doctor warns you’re not in the clear after just one COVID-19 vaccine dose

Doctor warns you’re not in the clear after just one COVID-19 vaccine dose

One woman ended up hospitalized and on a ventilator two weeks after getting the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Medical experts warn that just because you get one dose doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

“It just threw all of us,” said Megan Irizarry. “You kind of think that in the back of your head, like, ‘OK, we got this. We’re going to be OK.’ And it’s like a bomb hits and how did this happen?”

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Irizarry’s mother was the woman who was rushed to the hospital.

“They admitted her to the ICU, the COVID-19 unit, and they couldn’t get her oxygen up and put her on a BIPAP, and still oxygen wouldn’t come up so they put her on a ventilator,” she said.

“Remember, it’s not instantaneous. I think that’s what people forget. They don’t realize the second they get the vaccine in their arm, it doesn’t mean the immune system has completed its process to respond to it,” said Johns Hopkins infectious disease expert Dr. Amesh Adalja.

Adalja said he’s not surprised to hear Irizarry’s story. He said it takes about a week to build some immunity, but even then you’re not fully protected until you get the second dose.

“A single dose, the best case is probably 80-85% protected. So that leaves 15% of people who could still get severe disease,” he said.

Both Adalja and Irizarry said this is a good reminder for people to continue to stay safe.

Allegheny County receives 7,000 more doses of COVID-19 vaccine