An emergency physician tested positive for COVID-19 nine days after being vaccinated. This is not a sign that the vaccine is not working.

vaccine for medical workers
A nurse receives the Modern COVID-19 vaccine at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital on December 21, 2020 in Valley Stream, New York. Eduardo Munoz-Pool / Getty Images
  • Josh Mugele, an emergency physician in Georgia, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

  • Mugele had received his first dose of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine nine days earlier.

  • Mugele’s infection is not a sign that the shot is not working.

  • The vaccine requires two shots to be fully effective. It can also take up to a few weeks for vaccinated individuals to develop immunity, so it is important to continue wearing masks and social distance after getting the shots.

  • “It was just dumb luck,” Mugele said. “I happened to be exposed within a few days of getting the vaccine, but it’s still the best tool to fight the virus.”

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Josh Mugele worked Christmas in the night shift. Although he has been prone to coronavirus patients since the onset of the pandemic, his hospital in Georgia has been expanded like never before. However, there was one small consolation: Mugele received the first dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine on 20 December.

“I had three shifts in a row until the vaccination date,” Mugele, a doctor in the emergency room at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Georgia, told Business Insider. “I was just very nervous, and I would have been exposed before. I honestly felt a sense of relief when I was able to get the vaccine at the age of twenty, and I thought I would cross the finish line.”

Joshua Mugele
Josh Mugele

Then he came down Monday with a headache and cough. The next day, he tested positive for COVID-19.

“I was scared at first, but more than anything, I think I was angry,” Mugele said. “I had maximum exposure, just like any ER doctor in the country, and I was spared for ten months and it’s just stupid and frustrating to get it right after I got the vaccine.”

Pfizer vaccination is given as two injections, 21 days apart

Mugele always knew there was a chance of getting sick after his first dose.

Pfizer’s vaccination is given as two injections, 21 days apart. The two-dose regimen has been found to be 95% effective in preventing COVID-19, but a single dose offers much less protection. Therefore, it is essential that vaccines return for a second shot.

Read more: Primary care clinics hope to play a major role in vaccinating Americans, but some do not know when they will receive coronavirus shots. Despite three pieces of information, three large chains explain how they prepare.

It is also unknown whether the vaccine completely prevents the infection, and it may take up to several weeks after vaccination before the body develops immunity in the form of antibodies against the virus.

“The first eight days are very important,” Mugele said. “People still need to be absolutely isolated. They need to wear their mask, they need to wash their hands, they need to avoid going out before they get the benefit of the vaccine.”

vaccine for health workers
Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California, will administer the first doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on December 17, 2020. Paul Bersebach / MediaNews Group / Orange County Register / Getty Images

“It was just dumb luck”

Mugele said he was still planning to get his second dose on January 12, assuming he was asymptomatic about a week before. He also stressed that his infection was not a sign of anything wrong with the vaccine.

“It was just dumb luck,” he said. “I happened to be exposed within a few days of getting the vaccine, but it’s still the best tool to fight the virus.”

As an emergency physician, Mugele also had a greater risk of infection than many Americans, especially since his hospital is full of coronavirus patients.

“Our hospital is almost like every other hospital in the country,” he said. “We have higher volumes than we have ever had.”

US vaccine development is slow

Average daily hospitalizations have tripled in the U.S. over the past two months, peaking at nearly 125,000 on Tuesday. Mugele said he was sorry another doctor would have to cover his shift at this critical time.

“The shifts these days are really very difficult,” he said. “We see people in non-ideal conditions, like in the hallway or in the waiting room, so it’s a stressful, stressful work environment. Everyone is already thin.”

While vaccines are still the fastest way to stem the pandemic, vaccination by the US is painfully slow compared to what federal officials expected. Earlier this month, the Trump administration predicted that 20 million Americans would get a coronavirus by the end of the year. The U.S. has so far shipped about 14 million doses, but only about 2.6 million people received their first injections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

“It’s really important that, until we have a wide vaccination rate across the country, even if you have both doses of vaccine, you have to be careful,” Mugele said. “You still have to wear your mask in public and you still have to avoid large gatherings and you still have to wash your hands. We’re still doing this thing.”

Read the original article on Business Insider