A Brooklyn woman who managed to avoid catching COVID-19 throughout 2020 went down with the bug this month — three weeks after being vaccinated.
Ashley Allen, 31, spoke to The Post by phone while quarantined in her Williamsburg apartment and in between calls from city contact tracers.
The contact tracers “started asking me questions about what I was doing three weeks ago,” Allen said. “And I said I was getting vaccinated.”
Allen was thrilled when she was able to book an appointment for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Javits Center on March 10.
The sprawling convention space had just received new shipments of vaccine and was jabbing New Yorkers around the clock — Allen’s appointment was at 2 a.m. As a wine and spirits distributor, she was able to get a coveted early spot even while vaccines remained unavailable to most New Yorkers. Though she experienced a brief fever the next day, her side effects from the jab quickly resolved.
Even after Allen was vaccinated, she was careful to always mask up when outside and wash her hands frequently.
“On Wednesday, March 31, I started feeling like a scratch, a tickle in my throat of some sort. It was super dry,” she recalled. “Then I kept having this dry cough. It kinda felt like I had allergies.”
As her cough persisted, debilitating fatigue set in.
“It started getting really bad, to the point where I did go to City MD,” she said. “I thought I had Lyme disease. I spend a lot of time upstate.”
But a rapid coronavirus test on April 4, plus a second rapid test on April 5, showed COVID. A PCR test, which is more accurate, confirmed it.
The City MD staffer “asked when did you get your vaccine? And I said March 10, and she was like just shocked,” Allen said.
Allen’s case is rare, experts say, but not unheard of.
“The vaccine does not necessarily prevent you from getting COVID. It prevents you from being hospitalized or dying from it,” Dr. Kris Bungay, a Manhattan primary care physician, told The Post. “That is why we all still have to be careful.”
Update: Here's another one.
The best vaccine is not the one that you can get now.
A Brooklyn man found out on Monday that he’d tested positive for the coronavirus — more than two weeks after getting the jab.
Matthew Sambolin, 39, told The Post that though he opted for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine because it was “convenient,” he now wishes he’d gotten the Pfizer or Moderna shot instead.
“The risk was there, I was willing to take it. Now I’m wishing I made a different decision,” he said in a phone call from the spare bedroom of his Bath Beach home, where he’s currently quarantining.
Sambolin said he was experiencing minor symptoms, including a light cough and fatigue.
While a rapid test he took Saturday came back negative, a PCR test, which is more accurate, returned positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, according to documentation he provided.
“It was a shock,” Sambolin said of learning about his positive test on Monday.
An operations manager for two local radio stations, Sambolin said he had “no ambivalence” about the COVID vaccine and had been looking forward to getting his.
“I wanted to help get the herd immunity up,” he said.