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Local veteran, fully vaccinated against Covid-19, remains hospitalized with Delta variant

PITTSBURGH — An Ambridge man is hospitalized after being diagnosed with the Delta variant of the Coronavirus.

“I was scared from the beginning. I couldn’t understand why I got that cause I have both of my shots,” said Joe Pucci, 73, of Ambridge.

Pucci said he’s fully vaccinated but was experiencing some Covid-19 symptoms on his birthday on June 21 and decided to go to the Pittsburgh VA Medical Center to get checked out.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it to see my whole birthday because I was really, really sick,” Pucci said.

Pucci was having trouble breathing and was placed in the intensive care unit. He said he’s been feeling a lot better so doctors moved him from the ICU to a regular room on Monday night.

His daughter, Rachelle Pucci, said she was really worried for her dad because he has underlying health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure and lung problems.

“Thank goodness my mom got him there because apparently the doctor said if my mom didn’t get him there that night, he probably wouldn’t be with us right now,” she said.

She said the family doesn’t know how her father contracted the Delta Covid-19 variant because he hasn’t been out much until recently. He was in South Carolina a couple weeks before he got sick, then went to a graduation party and a veterans ceremony in Beaver County.

“It’s just crazy that something like this can happen in an instant. It doesn’t matter if you’re fully vaccinated or not,” Rachelle Pucci said.

Officials at the CDC said scientists are still learning how effective the vaccines are against new variants, including the highly contagious Delta variant.

It’s still possible for fully vaccinated people to contract the virus, but experts say the vaccine helps decrease the odds of getting really sick from Covid-19.

Joe Pucci said the vaccine may have saved his life.

“Get vaccinated and if you think you’re sick, don’t hesitant to go to the emergency room because they will help you like how they helped me,” he said.