A CARE worker has warned vaccinated people to stay Covid-safe after the virus spread through her body ‘like a cancer’ and left her hospitalised before the vaccine had time to build an immune response.
Esther Anderson, 47, from Dursley, caught coronavirus at work three weeks after receiving one dose of the Pfizer vaccine and developed ‘unbearable’ pain in her eyeballs, stomach, kidneys, lungs and womb before passing the virus onto her parents, who were also vaccinated with a single dose.
Her father, Colin, 85, has got away with a cough but her mother Mary, 82, suffers from underlying health conditions.
“I’ve never in my whole life been this poorly, ever. On Tuesday I had severe pains in my chest and I couldn’t sleep at night because I couldn’t breathe and the pain was so intense,” said Ms Anderson, who also suffers from asthma.
“The cough has been awful, my eyes have been burning and red, I’ve had painful sores come up on my chest, and the fatigue – I didn’t even have the strength to hold my own body up for four days.”
She was taken to hospital on Monday after her symptoms got worse, which include nausea, shuddering and painful lumps in her mouth.
“It’s like an animal running through your whole body biting different parts of your organs,” she said.
From the date of vaccination, it takes the body a week to produce an antibody response which then builds over time, the speed and nature of which varies from person to person.
The UK’s Vaccine Committee, JCVI, found that the Pfizer jab is 89 per cent effective 15 to 21 days after it is administered.
Colin and Mary were vaccinated on December 20, but Ms Anderson got the jab on January 13, meaning that when she developed symptoms on February 4 she had caught the virus earlier in the immunity-building process.
“It’s a nasty thing to catch and even though I’ve had serious and horrible symptoms, I think my vaccine gave me protection from remaining in hospital and perhaps losing my life,” said Ms Anderson, who left hospital the same day she arrived.
Ahead of Boris Johnson announcing a ‘road map’ out of lockdown next week, Ms Anderson said she was concerned about restrictions being lifted and how Covid-19 was going to be policed in schools.
“I do understand people’s frustrations, but I’ve now lost ten people to this virus and I’ve got friends that are in hospital battling for their lives.
“It’s just like cancer, it doesn’t respect whether you’re healthy or not.”
There were 10,625 new coronavirus cases reported in the UK yesterday, Wednesday.
More than 160,000 people in Gloucestershire have received their first jab and the top four priority groups have all been offered one.
Dr Andrew Preston, who researches respiratory diseases and vaccines at the University of Bath, said: “Esther is one of these people who has unfortunately picked it up while immunity was building, hence the notion that once you’ve been jabbed you shouldn’t really change your behaviour.
“As a frontline worker, repeated regular exposure is obviously going to be worse, and of course we do have to bear in mind that the vaccines are not 100 per cent effective in terms of preventing symptomatic disease.
“The vaccines appear to have very good protection against hospitalization and death. So if you consider Esther’s father, he would be right up there among those who we would be very worried about.
“For every Esther case there may be a case like Esther’s dad.”
Just like Esther felt the vaccine had saved her life, Dr Preston said that for most people who catch the virus, the consequences will be less severe than if they had not been vaccinated.