A couple in Coral Springs is sounding the alarm about complacency in a post-pandemic world, arguing that getting vaccinated isn’t enough to ward off coronavirus.
Richard Goldman was vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on March 12 yet tested positive by April.
He believes he got COVID-19 from his wife, Suzanne, who only got one of two Pfizer vaccines nearly two weeks after his one-stop dose.
The couple lives in the Beachwood Heights community, just off Wiles Road. He works from home, and she has continued to commute to Boca Raton since the virus hit over a year ago.
While a recent study in Israel showed one single dose of the Pfizer vaccine is highly effective, up to 85%, this was not enough to protect Suzanne, who does not know where or how she was exposed.
“People are acting as if being vaccinated means, yippee, let’s go out, let’s eat in restaurants, let’s party,” said Richard, “well, my wife and I are here to tell you, it’s still not safe.”
He said he was surprised to get sick, considering he’d managed to dodge the COVID bullet when he lost his own mother to the virus and was the one who closed up her house in Michigan.
Because of his family history with coronavirus and Suzanne’s asthma, the Goldmans said they tried to do everything right, ordering from Instacart and hunkering down.
Suzanne is 54, and Richard is 60. Her case was severe, and his, thankfully, a much milder form of COVID; however, both are miserable as they recover in quarantine.
“I haven’t seen my friends since February of 2020. The only precaution I didn’t take was avoiding my office,” said Suzanne.
A human resources professional with her own office, Suzanne said she felt safe being at work and insists safety protocols were strictly enforced.
“I was hospitalized for six days and nearly placed on a vent my blood oxygen levels were so low. My doctors said getting that first dose might have saved my life,” said Suzanne.
The pair are both too sick to work, battling severe muscle aches and pains. They describe it as being hit by a Sherman Tank and say they are frustrated to see how relaxed and cavalier others seem about an ongoing pandemic.
“Those who saved Suzanne’s life will tell you how the vaccines may save you from being put on a ventilator, but the variants and ‘Breakthrough COVID’ don’t care if you’ve had the vaccine,” said Richard.
Since Suzanne was not fully vaccinated, she did not contract Breakthrough COVID; however, Richard received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which means he meets the criteria for being a breakthrough case.
According to the CDC, the J&J/Janssen vaccine was 66.3% effective in people who had no evidence of prior infection 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine. People had the most protection 2 weeks after getting vaccinated.
Though over 95 million Americans are now vaccinated against coronavirus, and these vaccines are working as expected, the CDC reports some will still contract SARS-CoV-2 variants, currently seen in the United States and worldwide.
“Just be careful. Wear your masks, and eat outside instead of going into a crowded restaurant. We’re not out of the woods yet,” said the Goldmans.