U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) has tested positive for COVID-19 despite having received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Lynch’s office says that the congressman is experiencing no symptoms of the virus and feels fine, adding that he is self-quarantining and will vote in House proceedings by proxy during this time.
Lynch’s office explained that the lawmaker had received the second dose and tested negative for COVID prior to attending Joe Biden’s inauguration. Rep. Lynch, who represents a Boston-area district, was apparently retested after a staffer tested positive.
The Pfizer vaccine has a 95 percent efficacy rate based on clinical trials.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a post-vaccination infection is still possible. “It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. 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. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.”
The CDC has also acknowledged that current data is insufficient to determine how long COVID immunity lasts following the vaccination process or “whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself.”
Against this backdrop, the agency recommends that Americans should continue to wear masks, social distance by a minimum of six feet, stay away from crowds and poorly ventilated areas, and regularly wash hands.
One of Lynch’s Massachusetts colleagues has also tested positive. U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan revealed on Thursday, January 28, the day before Lynch’s announcement, that she received a positive test after repeatedly testing negative. Trahan is similarly asymptomatic.
She is also self-quarantining and plans to use the proxy voting system. Trahan had reportedly received one dose of a COVID vaccine in the week prior according to her communications director.
After repeatedly testing negative for COVID-19, I learned moments ago that I have tested positive for the virus. I am fortunate to be asymptomatic and have immediately begun to self-quarantine. Our team will continue working fully remote and remains a resource to #MA3 residents. pic.twitter.com/GyJGWrTKIV
— Congresswoman Lori Trahan (@RepLoriTrahan) January 28, 2021
“Public health experts have emphasized that it usually takes one week after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to reach 95 percent efficacy and two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna vaccine to reach 94 percent efficacy,” the Washington Post explained.
Since the rollout, approximately 23 million people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine so far as a result of the initiative called Operation Warp Speed launched by President Donald Trump.
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