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Congressional coronavirus cases indicate that a vaccine dose may not prevent infection



“Early protection against covid-19 can occur from approx. 12 days after dose one, ”said Naor Bar-Zeev, an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. People “should not really consider themselves really protected until after a week or two after dose two.”

While the vaccines may protect people from showing symptoms, the vaccinated may remain susceptible to infection, he said, prompting officials to encourage those who have recently been vaccinated to continue to follow public health advice such as hand washing and wearing masks.

“We absolutely have to keep wearing masks and keeping our distance, especially after the first dose ̵

1; and even after the second dose,” said immunologist Nicole Lieberman, a researcher at the University of Washington.

According to the companies, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are about 95 percent effective after two doses. Pfizer’s vaccine consists of two doses, given at three-week intervals, and Moderna contains two doses at 28-day intervals.

Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman (DN.J.), Bradley Schneider (D-Ill.) And Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) Tested positive this week. All three lawmakers have said they received the first dose of coronavirus vaccine in the days before the January 6 riots.

Coleman is a 75-year-old cancer survivor who said last week’s trip to DC was her first in months. She wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post that she was afraid of it because other people on the Capitol might “reject guidelines for social distancing and mask.” Coleman received his first vaccine dose on December 29th.

Schneider drives from his home near Chicago to Washington to avoid flying because his wife has a health condition that makes her more susceptible to the virus. Schneider received his first shot on January 4, two days before the attack. He did not report emotional symptoms after his positive diagnosis.

Jayapal also received his first shot on January 4th. The day between the shot and the lockdown, she had a negative test result, a spokesman said.

“Even though the members in question have been vaccinated, their bodies had not had time to react yet,” Lieberman said.

At least 10.3 million coronavirus vaccines have been administered nationwide since Wednesday, according to data from the Washington Post. The shots come amid a worsening pandemic in which more than 4,000 die of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, on Wednesday. More than 225,000 new cases were reported.

Legislators were among those crammed into a crowded room after the Capitol was locked last week. Even though it was large, the windowless room was too full for people to stay away, and its occupants – including some who were not wearing masks – spent hours together.

The attending physician’s office at the Capitol said Sunday that lawmakers may have been exposed to someone infected with the coronavirus while in “protective isolation.”

Genetic testing of the coronavirus pathogen, if the sequences matched, would help confirm whether the cases of the three legislators are actually related. “Without performing the sequencing to confirm who the patient was, we cannot know for sure,” Lieberman said.

But she and other experts said the simplest explanation given the circumstances was that the virus was spreading in the lockdown space.

“It’s highly likely – and I think likely – that this is a super-spreading incident, and these lawmakers caught it from spending time in this space,” said Harvard University environmental health researcher Joseph G. Allen.

Krystal Pollitt, a professor of environmental hygiene science at Yale University, said that when she saw the legislators’ live feed, even before they were moved to the safe place, “everything that could go” was through her mind, how dangerous the situation was for transmission virus.

“People project their voices and do not wear masks – there are a lot of people in the room,” Pollitt said. “You see the people sitting opposite each other; they are equal in others speaking. ”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) Told Fox News that she and her colleagues rejected the masks because they had no symptoms.

Greene told The Washington Post in an email: “It’s absolutely ridiculous and insane to blame those of us who did not have COVID or symptoms.”

But because asymptomatic people spread the virus, health officials have urged everyone to wear masks in public spaces, whether or not they feel healthy.

Pollitt said based on rough estimates, “you could have a fairly large number of people infected” within 90 minutes, she said.

Even a well-functioning HVAC system would be pushed to its limit, Pollitt said, for adequate air exchange and prevention of transmission between persons without masking in an enclosed space without windows.

“If someone is contagious in that room, others will be infected,” Allen said. “This is just another consequence of a truly shocking and incredible day in American history.”

Colby Itkowitz contributed to this report.


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