LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — A Loveland woman got quite the surprise after testing positive for COVID-19 more than a month after getting her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, told FOX31 she believes she caught the virus while at a lower capacity Red Rocks show. Her unvaccinated friends tested positive first, but later she began feeling sick herself.
She was tested, and later got a positive result.
“I started feeling symptoms and I got nervous,” the patient said. “I thought I was good.”
Immune response impacted
Later, she realized that it may have been her fight with Lyme disease many years ago that weakened her immune system and made her immunocompromised.
“There’s a possibility the antibodies are not doing their magic because of Lyme disease. Because my immunity took such a hit, it might need another dose,” the patient said.
Her doctors confirmed that Lyme disease made the COVID-19 vaccine less effective for her, calling the Loveland woman a rare breakthrough case.
“There are certain categories of people that we know are going to develop a less robust vaccine response, meaning they are not going to have as good as a response to the vaccine as other healthy people,” said Dr. Richard Zane, with UCHealth. “COVID-19 now is a disease of unvaccinated people or people that did not manifest a vaccine response.”
Vaccine helps reduce COVID severity
Zane said Tuesday that the patient still did the right thing by getting a COVID-19 vaccine. While it didn’t prevent her from catching the virus, it most likely played a significant role as to why her symptoms were mild and she was able to recover quickly.
“The patient may have tested positive and had mild symptoms but without a vaccination, she could have ended up in the hospital, or even worse,” Zane said. “The way vaccines work is not on an individual basis. They work on a societal basis. In order for vaccines to work, you, your neighbors, the state and the country need to be vaccinated. If not, it’s using one head of a two headed tool.”
On Thursday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice is coming together to discuss whether people with weakened immune systems should be offered another dose of the vaccine. Of the people that have been hospitalized with COVID-19, 99% have not been vaccinated. Zane said the 1% of fully vaccinated people who have been admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 are considered immunocompromised.