WISCONSIN (NBC 26) — With COVID-19 cases rising nationwide, reports of breakthrough cases among the fully vaccinated can be a real concern.
Two fully vaccinated people who recently contracted the Coronavirus are currently in isolation and share their stories.
Meet Trevor Ramseier:
The De Pere man said it was last Wednesday he first began having symptoms.
“I had these body aches and pains that I’ve never experienced before. My hands hurt, down to the fingertips and hands, they were sore and achy,” Ramseier said. “Had the teeth chattering chills and the sweats and all that.”
He said he left work early that day and the next morning he received the news he was dreading to hear.
“Sure enough Thursday morning I woke up, slept miserable that night. Had the teeth chattering chills and the sweats and all that. Awful Thursday morning and my phone rang at 11:03, it was my doctor. I answered and I said ‘uh oh’ and he says ‘yeah you’re positive and you’re the first one in our clinic here that has a breakthrough case,” Ramseier said.
Though fully vaccinated Ramseier still contracted the virus and passed it to his loved ones.
His wife who is also fully vaccinated got it along with his two small children who are not.
His mom who happened to be visiting for the first time since the pandemic also contracted the virus. She was fully vaccinated as well.
“It’s just like uhh this happened. There’s a lot of guilt with that I’ve had to process. I know its not as fair for me to feel that way but boy it was a weird pill to swallow knowing that we waited all this time and now we sit here and she has COVID,” Ramseier said.
His mom has multiple sclerosis so it was a real concern for their family.
“If she wouldn’t be vaccinated I just can’t imagine how bad it would have been for her or myself included. I don’t have MS but I also have an autoimmune disease and asthma, I certainly fall into the high risk category for this,” Ramseier said.
Ramseier shares has been documenting his journey and posting videos on social media:
Cheryl Hwang is another example of someone fully vaccinated with a breakthrough case.
“The doctors and nurses tell me that it’s the Delta variant and I got very sick for a good four to five days,” Hwang said.
She explains she first began having symptoms on July 13 and two weeks later she’s still in isolation as she continues to recover.
“I thought I was getting better for a while and then overnight actually I came down last night with more severe symptoms again . So I’ve had my body aches and obviously my nasally voice has been around for the past two weeks. I lost my taste for a while. I’m shivering and getting hot and cold sweats”,' Hwang said.
Hwang is a journalist at a television station in Colorado Springs.
As a frontline worker, she had always been working at her news station through the pandemic.
But now for the first time since the start of COVID-19, she is at home working.
“And it's still lingering and my body hurts. I’m working from home right now but it’s honestly so hard because my body hurts so bad,” Hwang said.
With being fully vaccinated the journalist shares she was finally beginning to live her life back to normal when she contracted the virus.
“Just two weeks ago literally I was going around going to outside music festivals, going to bars, hanging out with friends left and right because it’s such a joyous thing because we’re finally able to hangout again. But to be where I’m at right now is honestly scary,” Hwang said.
While her family lives in South Korea, she said she's been grateful for all the love and support she has received from overseas.
“Thankfully my parents from South Korea were like ‘oh you have COVID, we’re so worried about you’ so they sent me a package from Amazon and that was really nice,” Hwang said.
Hwang and Ramseier now want to raise awareness about the severity of these breakthrough cases and how grateful they are they’ve received the shot.
“I would have been definitely hospitalized. I can’t even imagine not being vaccinated and going through what I’m going through because I’m still so sick even with being fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine,” Hwang said.
“I don’t have an opinion on whether someone should get vaccinated or not, the goal of us sharing our story is simply saying that we’re grateful we’re vaccinated, because we wouldn’t want to know how bad this would be had we not,” Ramseier said.
Wisconsin experts are also sounding the alarm on the Delta variant and breakthrough cases.
Dr. Jeff Pothoff with U-W Health explains a little more on breakthrough cases.
“You’ve got a small percentage chance but not rare. Somewhere in the 10 to 15 percent chance of vaccinated people will come down with mild symptoms of COVID-19 if they come in contact with the Delta variant,” Dr. Pothoff said.
And while cases continue rising and hospital beds begin filling up, the doctor urges we continue to take precautionary measures.
“If we keep infecting other unvaccinated people or if unvaccinated people continue to get infected, at some point there’s going to be another variant that’s after delta and that variant may very well defeat all of our immunity and at that point we’re back to the drawing board, we’ll need a new vaccine. A vaccine that covers that variant,” Pothoff said.
According to the CDC, it says vaccine breakthrough cases are expected. It said COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However, no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.
The CDC also said more than 161 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated as of July 19, 2021. Experts said like with other vaccines, vaccine breakthrough cases will occur, even though the vaccines are working as expected. Asymptomatic infections among vaccinated people will also occur.
- There is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe for those who are vaccinated and still get sick.
- Current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most SARS-CoV-2 variants currently circulating in the United States. However, variants will cause some vaccine breakthrough cases.
For more detailed information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) click here to be redirected.