Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., questions Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the Postal Service on Capitol Hill, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Washington. Tom Williams/Pool via AP
After having received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts tested positive for the coronavirus, his spokesperson told Business Insider.
“While Mr. Lynch remains asymptomatic and feels fine, he will self-quarantine and will vote by proxy in Congress during the coming week,” his spokesperson said.
It typically takes a few weeks to develop immunity to the coronavirus after being vaccinated.
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Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday after having received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to his spokesperson.
“U.S. Representative Stephen F. Lynch received a positive test result for COVID-19 after a staff member in the Congressman’s Boston office had tested positive earlier in the week,” Molly Rose Tarpey, Lynch’s communications director, said in a statement to Business Insider.
“While Mr. Lynch remains asymptomatic and feels fine, he will self-quarantine and will vote by proxy in Congress during the coming week,” she said, adding, “Congressman Lynch had received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and subsequently received a negative COVID-19 test prior to attending President Biden’s Inauguration,” which took place January 20.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can take up to a few weeks for the body to develop immunity to the coronavirus after vaccination.
Read more: Coronavirus variants threaten to upend pandemic progress. Here’s how 4 top vaccine makers are fighting back.
“That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick,” the agency said. “This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.”
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is two doses given 21 days apart. Pfizer said its vaccine is 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 seven days after the second shot is administered.
‘Dumb luck’A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. Vincent Kalut / Photonews via Getty Images
It’s possible to contract COVID-19 during the period between the first and second shot, too.
Another Massachusetts lawmaker, Lori Trahan, tested positive for the coronavirus this week after she had received her first vaccine dose. Trahan got her first shot last week, one of her spokeswomen told The Washington Post Saturday.
COVID-19 vaccines contain tiny pieces of genetic material that teach your immune system how to fight off the coronavirus by developing virus-fighting antibodies. These bits of messenger RNA can’t get you sick with COVID-19, but it takes some time for them to do their job. The Pfizer vaccine, for instance, is only 52% effective at preventing COVID-19 after the first dose.
That’s why it’s critical people continue to wear masks during the stretch of time between doses, and in the weeks following their second dose.
Josh Mugele. Josh Mugele
One doctor who got the coronavirus after having received the first dose of the vaccine, Josh Mugele, said his infection wasn’t a sign the vaccine didn’t work.
“This was just dumb luck,” Mugele previously told Insider. “I happened to be exposed within a few days of getting the vaccine, but this still is the best tool we have for fighting the virus.”
As an emergency-room doctor, Mugele also had a higher risk of infection than many Americans, especially because his hospital was filling up with coronavirus patients.
More than 26 million people in the US have contracted the coronavirus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University; more than 440,000 Americans have died.
Aria Bendix, Andrea Michelson, and Anna Medaris Miller contributed reporting to this story.
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