Alabama woman and husband get COVID despite vaccination

Laura Allen was among the people who line up early for a COVID-19 vaccine shot. Since she is a health care worker and her husband is a firefighter, both were eligible in the first wave.

And the Alabama woman said she had extra motivation – her brother-in-law died from the disease in January.

Allen said she got the Pfizer version of the vaccine in February and figured her coronavirus fears were over. She showed her and her husband’s vaccination cards to a reporter.

But earlier this month, she Allen and her husband both started feeling unwell. At first, they thought it was allergies and then maybe a bad cold.

Tests confirmed the unlikely: Both were positive for COVID-19.

Allen and her husband are not the only members of the family to be fully vaccinated and infected. She said she has a cousin in Baldwin County who currently is battling COVID, along with her mother and daughter. All three, she said, were fully vaccinated.

Health care experts said they expected some vaccinated people to get the virus, since no vaccine is 100 percent effective. The state’s Department of Public Health has identified 1,663 residents who have been fully vaccinated yet still contracted the virus.

Since many vaccinated people who do contract he virus have mild case or no symptoms at all, it is likely the actual number is higher.

Of the more than 500 Alabamians who have died form the disease since April 1, at least 20 were fully vaccinated.

As for Allen, the ultrasound technician said it is strange that she survived the entire pandemic working in the health care field only to get the virus after she had been vaccinated. She said several firefighters in her husband’s station contracted the virus, making her think that he probably passed it on to her. But she added that she cannot be sure. She said she also does not know which variant she had.

Allen said the illness first presented itself as cold and cough symptoms. She added that the fatigue got worse.

“I knew that something was really getting bad when I had to take a nap at work one day,” she said.