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OC Man Tests Positive For COVID-19 Weeks After Getting Second Vaccine Dose

MISSION VIEJO (CBSLA) — Monday marked three weeks since a Lake Forest man received his second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and one day since he got a positive COVID-19 test result.

Gary Michael
Gary Michael, a Lake Forest man, says he tested positive for COVID-19 weeks after receiving his second vaccine dose. (CBSLA)

"Yesterday, I got a phone call from the Orange County Health Department," Gary Michael said. "They told me that, yes, I'm positive with coronavirus, and they went through my symptoms and the precautions of what I should do as far as quarantine."

Michael was tested for the virus when he went to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo on Saturday for an unrelated health issue.

"You might be surprised by this man's story, this patient's story, I'm not, and it's not the first one that I've heard of," Dr. Tirso del Junco Jr., chief medical officer of KPC Health, said. "I think I've heard of six or seven independent cases over the last three weeks of individuals that have been vaccinated with different timelines that have tested positive, and I think we're going to continue to see that more and more."

These cases are why doctors like del Junco have urged people to keep their face coverings on — whether they've been vaccinated or not — especially in light of new COVID-19 variants spreading in the community.

"We're going to truly understand the effectiveness and how long these vaccines are effective, number one," del Junco said. "Number two, as soon as we started the vaccination program is when we started hearing about these mutant strains. We've got three aggressive mutant strains now that people keep talking about, and that's been long after we started this vaccination process."

As for Michael, he said his live-in girlfriend tested positive for coronavirus five days after he received his second dose and said his case was relatively minor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, clinical trials showed the Pfizer vaccine was "95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of previous infection."

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