Double-jabbed immunologist contracts Covid-19

Double-jabbed immunologist contracts Covid-19

An immunologist has found herself infected with Covid-19 despite having received two shots of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine.

Dr Prapaporn Pisitkun, from the Division of Allergy Immunology and Rheumatology at Mahidol University's Faculty of Medicine at Ramathibodi Hospital, said although she had been fully vaccinated, antibodies created by the jabs had decreased by about 30% in just two months.

A fortnight after the second injection, she had tested her level of immunity, or NAb (the neutralising antibody that is responsible for defending cells from pathogens), and recorded it at 92.9%. However, just two months later the level of protection afforded by the vaccine had fallen to only 65.7% and that was around the time she tested positive for Covid-19, Dr Prapaporn said.

She suspected that she contracted the highly transmissible Delta variant from a colleague who had also received the same vaccine, after spending an extended period of time with them in an air-conditioned laboratory.

She said she was wearing an N95 mask, but without a face shield, while working in the closed laboratory environment.

The other possible source of her infection could also be another colleague who gave her a meal box even though she and that person ate in different rooms, she said, adding that this colleague was also later confirmed to have the virus.

The colleague, who had also received both Sinovac shots, was also found to have an NAb level of 60.04% by the time she tested positive, said Dr Prapaporn.

"What have we learned from this? The answer is that Covid-19 is now highly transmissible, and even among those who have already received both shots of the vaccine they can still contract the virus and pass it to others," she said.

While urging all healthcare and medical professionals to be aware of this higher risk of them contracting the virus at work, she also called on the government to consider giving frontline healthcare workers a third booster shot of a Covid-19 vaccine with good efficacy to protect them from infection.

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