Albertans fully vaccinated for COVID-19 urged to stay cautious during pandemic’s 4th wave
Ami Amato woke up recently with a throbbing headache and chills. Having already received two doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, she shrugged it off as a cold.
To be safe, though, she searched COVID-19 symptoms on Google — cough, fever, runny nose, trouble breathing, loss of taste and smell — and checked off a number of them.
She booked a COVID-19 test. The next day she was informed her test came back positive and it was likely caused by the delta variant.
“It has really freaked me out,” said Amato, who lives in Edmonton.
“I thought I was good to go. I am certainly not good to go.”
COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent infections but are not 100 per cent effective, according to the U.S. national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
Fully vaccinated individuals who contract COVID-19 are less like to develop serious illness.
Amato knew the vaccine would not make her completely immune to the novel coronavirus, particularly the variants of concern.
But she did not expect to test positive for COVID-19, especially after being double-dosed.
Similar situations are happening in Alberta and other jurisdictions, including the United States and United Kingdom.
COVID-19 vaccines offer a great deal of protection, but they are not a suit of armour, said Dr. Shazma Mithani, an emergency room physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton.
Those who have received two doses of vaccine should have “a healthy amount of caution” and take COVID-19 symptoms even more seriously because they will be more mild, she said.
“A sniffle that might feel like allergies or a little scratch at the back of your throat might actually be COVID,” Mithani said.