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Breakthrough: Fully vaccinated Midlander hospitalized with COVID-19

“I would have still been masking.” One Midland woman’s road to recovery, after she was hospitalized with COVID-19 after receiving both doses of the Moderna vaccine
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 11:27 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - As the Delta variant of COVID-19 surges across the country and vaccination rates are at a near stand still, another variable to the equation has emerged - breakthrough cases of the Coronavirus in fully vaccinated people.

“I approached it with ‘no problems, I’m vaccinated.’

Months after receiving her second dose of the COVID vaccine, Jennifer Leascher was exposed to the virus.

“The media, CDC, everybody was telling me ‘I’m good.’ So there were a few others that I knew were exposed that were not vaccinated and I was kinda laughing in their face.”

She started to feel sick just a few days later.

“I thought ‘hmm maybe these allergies are giving me a sinus infection’... but I still did not go to, my mind did not go to COVID... because I was vaccinated.”

But then her symptoms got worse, and Leascher was taken to Midland Memorial Hospital.

“I was admitted to the COVID unit on the 9th floor...” “I was on a huge amount of steroids, oxygen...”

Leascher is considered a breakthrough case. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a breakthrough infection is defined as someone who tests positive for the coronavirus, more than 14 days after receiving both doses of a COVID vaccine. And the CDC says, these cases, though rare, ARE to be expected...

The CDC says it is working with local and state health departments to research vaccine breakthrough cases, and identify what might cause them, not ruling out variants.

The CDC also says there is evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe for those who are vaccinated and still get sick. In Leascher’s case, she says her road to recovery is far from over.

“I don’t know if I’m ever gonna come back from this. I was a runner, I’ve been a runner since 1997.”

Despite what happened to her, Leascher only has one regret.

“I think I would probably get the vaccine if I had to do it again... I think what I would do differently that Dr. Fauci and the CDC didn’t recommend, is I would’ve still been masking.”

Since our conversation, the CDC has updated their mask guidance, now advising even vaccinated people to mask up in crowded areas, and areas with low ventilation. We should note that Leascher does not know what strain of Coronavirus she was infected with, and all cases of COVID-19 are unique. She is now recovering and regaining strength.

Midland County reports there have been 62 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 within the last few days.

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