Jeannie Minter is still dealing with the loss of her husband, John, after he died earlier this month due to COVID-19.
His death came as a surprise because he was fully vaccinated.
"He got both his vaccines," Minter said. "We were just never comfortable taking off our mask. We would go to church we have our mask on in church, we went into grocery stores we kept our mask on and we didn’t let our guard down."
But after a lunch with relatives who began to cough, "My husband and I got in our car and I said 'I think we’re in trouble.'"
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The couple, married 30 years, was diagnosed with COVID on July 25. Later that week they went to the hospital. Jeannie was released after eight hours but John was not as fortunate, and in a couple of days, he was put on a ventilator.
"I first thanked him for 30 years and for taking good care of me and I told him to go. I said, 'It’s OK, you’ve been fighting for the past two weeks,' and I told him to go and find his peace and I told him I would be OK," Minter said. "And he was gone just like that. Just like that."
Dr. Thomas Balcezak, chief clinical officer of Yale New Haven Health, highlights that unfortunately uncommon, it is possible to get COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine.
"They are not perfect. They are excellent vaccines -- upwards from 95 to 98% efficacy -- but that’s not 100%, so the chances are you won’t get the disease but it is still possible," Balcezak said.
"But I think you need to think about the layers of protection you can add to the vaccine, and that is masking, staying away from large crowded indoor spaces. I’m trying to make sure that the folks that you are in crowded small spaces with are vaccinated," he said.
And as for Jeannie , she is doing much better, and despite losing John to COVID-19, she still feels the vaccine is vital and she has this message, "Stay safe, be vigilant, and wear your mask. I don’t care what they say -- you do what’s best for you."