A Fort Myers man is in quarantine after contracting COVID-19, even after getting vaccinated, and experts are cautioning that vaccines will never completely stop people from getting the virus, but they can lessen the impact.
“Just did my best to listen to logic, doctors, scientists,” said Chris Speake.
“I wore my mask until they said that vaccinated people don’t have to wear them inside anymore.”
He was COVID cautious, and when he had the chance to get vaccinated, he took it.
“My wife and I actually traveled about an hour and a half to find the vaccine fairly early on. And I was surprised – I didn’t think it would be emotional at all, but it was kind of like an end to a disaster.”
But it wasn’t the end, because now, months later, “I had some cold symptoms, and I didn’t think much of it until I lost my sense of smell.”
Speake tested positive for COVID-19.
“Hard to believe that I went a year masked everywhere. For a long time, for several months, we did nothing. And then finally got it after I was vaccinated.”
“Vaccines in general are never intended to completely wipe out disease. They’re intended to keep you from getting sick. And that’s actually working in a great way,” said Dr. Stephanie Stovall, interim chief quality and safety officer at Lee Health.
Stovall said that while breakthrough COVID-19 cases like Speake’s happen, patients typically have mild symptoms.
“Most of them are getting sick and going home and riding it out at home – doing fine.”
Speake is recovering and quarantining at home. He said while catching COVID-19 after being vaccinated is frustrating, he doesn’t regret getting the shot – and he wants you to get one, too.
“If you have symptoms, get tested, vaccinated or not. And hopefully, if we can all kind of go together and get these things done, we can maybe finally put an end to it.”
Catching a mild case of COVID-19 isn’t the only concern when it comes to breakthrough cases. Health researchers say it’s too early to know if vaccines are effective at prevention long-haul COVID-19 symptoms.