Doctors explain vaccine effectiveness after nurse gets COVID-19 after taking 1st dose

Doctors tell ABC7 News that the first vaccine shot gives 50 percent immunity, which doesn't kick in for a week with the Pfizer vaccine and two weeks with the Moderna vaccine.
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- In Southern California a nurse began showing symptoms of COVID-19 six days after getting the vaccine, then tested positive two days later.

It happened in the San Diego area.

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Experts here in the Bay Area say that it takes time for the antibodies to develop in your body.

"I have no problem putting needles in people as a doctor, I do not particularly enjoy having needles put in me," says Dr. Amy Herold who is the Chief Medical Officer at Napa's Queen of the Valley Medical Center.

She took the coronavirus vaccine just like thousands of others.

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In regards to what happened to the nurse in San Diego, "My guess is that they were exposed just before they got the vaccine and they weren't showing symptoms yet or just afterwards," says Dr. Herold.

"It's a sad coincidence that if somebody has already been exposed and gotten vaccinated, the vaccine doesn't work within days. I mean it does work within days but certainly not in less than a week," says Dr. Yvonne Maldonado of Stanford.

Doctors tell ABC7 News that the first vaccine shot gives 50 percent immunity, which doesn't kick in for a week with the Pfizer vaccine and two weeks with the Moderna vaccine. The second dose then brings immunity to at least 90 percent.

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While neither one is at a hundred percent, Dr. Herold says there is optimism in her hospital and she couldn't help but smile when she got the vaccine.

"Under my mask I have the biggest grin that I'm finally getting it," she says "because it feels like hope right now and for all of us that are taking care of COVID patients and kind of stretched to the limit right now. To have something to look forward to and hope for is a very powerful thing."

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