Jan 30, 2021 - Health

Rep. Stephen Lynch tests positive for COVID-19 after getting second dose of vaccine

Rep. Stephen Lynch

Rep. Stephen Lynch. Photo: Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) tested positive for the COVID-19, but remains asymptomatic, after receiving the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, his office said Friday.

Why it matters: Lynch's case stresses the importance of continuing to social distance and wear a face mask even after getting vaccinated.

What they're saying: Lynch received a positive test result on Friday "after a staff member in the Congressman's Boston office had tested positive earlier in the week," Lynch's spokesperson, Molly Rose Tarpey, said in a statement.

  • "Congressman Lynch had received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and subsequently received a negative COVID-19 test prior to attending President Biden's Inauguration," she added.
  • Lynch "remains asymptomatic and feels fine," but will continue to "self-quarantine and will vote by proxy in Congress during the coming weeks."
  • Tarpey did not immediately respond to a question from Axios about when Lynch received each dose of the vaccine.

The big picture: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the companies that have developed the two vaccines authorized in the U.S., say their vaccines are about 95% effective at preventing people from getting sick after getting the second dose of their respective vaccines.

  • "It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes.
  • "That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection," the CDC adds.
  • It is also not yet clear how effective the vaccine is against infection and transmission, but researchers say it should prevent people from getting sick.

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