7 Things I Learned About The Importance Of The COVID Vaccine After I, A Fully Vaccinated Person, Got COVID

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I knew breakthrough cases were possible, but they hadn't truly been a huge concern of mine. I'd gotten both doses of the vaccine (Moderna), I'd stayed home and socially distanced when I was supposed to, and I'd continued to wear a mask in most indoor settings even when the requirement was (temporarily) lifted in LA.

About two months ago, I attended a friend's birthday dinner with a small group of people at an indoor restaurant. All of the guests were fully vaccinated and had been similarly careful throughout the pandemic. At the time, the mask mandate had been lifted, infections were down, and we felt perfectly fine about getting together.

Flash forward about a week later: My friend texts us saying that she tested positive for COVID and everyone at the birthday dinner should get tested. I was definitely unsettled and I felt bad for my friend, but I wasn't too worried. The odds that I, a fully vaccinated person, would get COVID from another fully vaccinated person were low, I told myself. I took a PCR test just to be safe, and it came back negative.

But then, a few days later, I started feeling under the weather. I had a stuffy nose and scratchy throat and felt more tired than usual. I attributed it to the change in the weather, being burned out from work, maybe allergies. I decided to take one more test, this time a rapid at-home one, for peace of mind. And sure enough...I tested positive.