CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Andy Guajardo’s father is a 91-year-old Korean War veteran. A few weeks ago, he received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Veteran’s Affairs office. A few days later, Guajardo’s father was taken to the hospital, where he tested positive for the virus.
“It was like, you know, you got the shot and you’re feeling good, huh? Five days later, how you doing? I’m feeling great, man, and then boom, what? He’s in the hospital,” Guajardo said.
Guajardo said his father had a fever of 105 degrees, and a blood pressure of 220/80.“We were very concerned, because at 91, you get the coronavirus, it’s pretty much a death sentence,” he said.
The doctors treated him with Remdesivir, and the next day, he started to improve.
“They got the temperature down, they got the blood pressure down, and he’s going to be okay,” Guajardo said.
He believes his father receiving the first dose is a reason he was able to fight off the virus as well as he did.
Dr. Jaime Fergie, the Director of Infectious Diseases at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, said while people are typically only 60 percent protected from the virus after the first dose, and that number jumps to 95% effectiveness after the second dose, having the vaccine helps build antibodies in the body, which helps people fight against COVID-19 should they contract it.
“It’s almost 100% protection against what we call severe disease, an illness that takes you to the ER or to the hospital. Vaccines help train your body to fight the real illness,” Dr. Fergie said.
After his father contracted COVID-19 despite having the first dose of the vaccine, Guajardo wants others to see that situation and continue to take caution.
“Just because you get that first one man, don’t let your guard down. You need to stay vigilant with everything, wash your hands, mask, social distancing,” he said.
“Make sure you get the second shot, to make yourself as safe as you can from that stuff and continue to wear your mask and social distance and wash your hands. That first shot, it’s not a cure all, it just doesn’t give you the green light to do whatever you want to do.”
Dr. Fergie said people must also continue to follow COVID-19 protocols even after receiving the second dose of the vaccine, because there is still not enough information available to determine if fully vaccinated people can carry and transmit the virus to others.
“Now you’re doing it for the good of the community. I think that’s critically important,” he said.
“The question we haven’t fully answered yet is, can you still carry the virus with you, even if it doesn’t cause you any harm?’ It appears the answer will be no, but we don’t know that yet. So, we want people to continue to use their mask just in case they can still carry the virus with them.”
Guajardo said his father should be released from the hospital sometime this week, around one week after he was admitted to the hospital.