I got the vaccine – and then I got Covid: Readers share their stories

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The Covid-19 vaccines protect people from getting infected and severely ill – and significantly reduce the likelihood of hospitalisation and death – but no vaccine is 100 per cent effective. People who have been fully vaccinated are still at risk of testing positive for Covid-19 – and many in Ireland, and around the world, have already.

The Irish Times asked readers to let us know about your experiences of dealing with Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated.

Here is a selection of your stories.

‘It was a little frightening if I am honest’

“I am a 26-year-old with no underlying health issues. I received my dose of Janssen vaccine on July 17th – therefore deemed fully vaccinated on July 31st.

“I began experiencing a sore throat on Tuesday August 17th and thought it was a slight cold. I was a little fatigued but continued to go to my workplace. Wednesday proved more difficult so I left work after one hour and rested for the day. Wednesday night I thought it strange when I climbed the stairs and felt out of breath. That’s when I thought it might be time to get a Covid test. On Thursday my brother took me to the test centre as I am only learning to drive. He too is vaccinated, and I stayed in the back of the car and we both wore our masks. As Friday rolled in, it was a restless wait, and it was only then the symptoms became clear: short of breath, stuffy nose, sneezing, and weakness. It was late Friday evening when I got my test result. Positive.

“It was a little frightening if I am honest – this virus that had taken over our whole world at the start of 2020 and, almost 18 months later, I now had it, even though I was fully vaccinated. It was a busy night of letting my close contacts know, retracing my footsteps and trying not to panic. I live with my fiance, who also now needed to be tested. He had received his second dose of his vaccine that week, so technically wasn’t fully vaccinated, and he too tested positive two days later. As did my brother who took me to the testing centre. And his girlfriend four days later – both also fully vaccinated.

Saturday – day four – was my worst day. I became weak, my breathing was a struggle and my sense of smell and taste went from normal to nothing at all in the space of three hours. Sunday was a little better, but Monday [August 23rd] was a difficult day.

“Thankfully, since then there has been a big improvement. I wanted to get in touch to not disregard or complain about my vaccine. I do not regret getting it and would urge people to get it. I do, however, feel that those who are fully vaccinated are under false illusions that they are Covid-free and will never get it or never transmit it. I want to also make clear that nobody should let their guard down, and everyone should continue to practice good hand hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing, as it’s vital that we continue to do our part in order to, unfortunately, live with this virus.” – Donna

‘The sweating, chills, temperature, no smell or taste, the cough, diarrhoea’

“I am Spanish and work as a cleaner in a nursing home in Ireland. I got the Pfizer shots in February. I am a healthy person, I don’t eat meat, smoke or drink. Most of my diet is organic and I used to run every day. During 18 months I did not go anywhere but work and shopping. No meeting with friends and no visitors allowed.

“On the last week of July, my partner was sneezing (he got his vaccine – Pfizer too – in May.) I was off that week. He took the test and came back positive (a girl working with him did not believe in Covid, or vaccines, and she got Covid). Two days later I was with Covid myself. That was a nightmare. Here on our own. We couldn’t even walk the dog. The sweating, the chills, the temperature, no smell or taste, the cough, diarrhoea.