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Vaccinated woman shares breakthrough story

She says the vaccine saved her life. A medical professional explains breakthrough infections.
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 6:29 PM CDT
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MONROE, Ill. (WIFR) - Breakthrough cases of COVID-19 cause confusion and raise questions about the effectiveness of vaccines. One fully vaccinated Stephenson County woman tested positive for the Coronavirus half a year after her shots. She said the vaccine saved her life.

Patricia Mendygral-Kibble, 76, got two Pfizer shots in February. In early August after a night out with a friend, she tested positive for COVID-19. Her sore throat and cough worsened, and she struggled to breathe. At the hospital, her doctors told her the Prednisone she was taking for arthritis suppresses her immune system.

“That screws up your immune system for about three weeks. While in that three weeks, I probably took my mask off the last two weeks, like everyone was doing, because they said we could,” said Mendygral-Kibble. “And, I guess, I was just an open dish for COVID to hit.”

Dr. Jeff Pothof of University of Wisconsin Health said breakthrough cases like Mendygral-Kibble’s, usually have something in common.

“One is some level of immunosuppression. Something about their immune system doesn’t work well,” said Pothof. “Whether they’re a transplant patient, cancer survivor, or have some other medical condition that depresses their immune system.”

He said even with breakthrough cases, the vaccine saves most people from long term health problems.

“The folks who are filling up our hospitals and dying of COVID-19 are the unvaccinated,” said Pothof.

Pothof said while vaccinated people will have mild symptoms from COVID-19, they can still spread it as easily as someone unvaccinated. Because of this, he says to follow CDC guidelines if exposed to COVID-19.

“The vaccine saved my life. I mean I still went into the hospital but I wasn’t put on a ventilator,” said Mendygral-Kibble.

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