An Ottawa nurse has tested positive for COVID-19 about two weeks after getting vaccinated.
The Nurse, Santosh Baral said he was “speechless” when his results came back positive for COVID-19 last week after a routine test.
He was among Ottawa’s front-line health-care workers to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the first week of the local distribution campaign in mid-December.
The Nurse said he received his first dose on December 18, 2020, and his second dose on Janaury 8, 2021.
A few days after he received the second injection, Baral said he tested negative for the coronavirus as part of a routine test on January 13.
But a week later, on January. 20, the test came back positive.
Baral said he is always diligent about following his workplace’s COVID-19 safety protocols and had to start scanning his memory, thinking of where he could have been exposed to the virus.
“I felt… very guilty. Maybe I missed something,” he says.
He also said he feels fine but is at home self-isolating until he is sure it is safe to return to work.
“I thank God I [don’t] have any symptoms so far, but who knows whatever is happening in my body. So definitely I have some anxiety,” Baral said.
Clinical immunologist and allergist Dr. Zainab Abdurrahman to CBC that there are a number of possibilities why Baral could have tested positive.
She said a person could be exposed to the virus before the doses take full effect as it takes up to a week to ten days after getting both vaccinations before becoming fully immune.
Abdurrahman added that while both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are 95 percent effective, “there’s a small chance that you could still catch COVID-19 after you’re fully vaccinated.”
“Although with the studies, we did see those who did get it in that small percentage after being fully immune had very mild disease. So they didn’t have as much of the severe cases of COVID and this is not unlike any other vaccine,” Abdurrahman said.