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'I would've ended up hospitalized:' Arkansas woman gets COVID after being fully vaccinated

Priscilla Harvey is fully vaccinated and was one of the very rare breakthrough cases. She believes it would've been much worse if she decided not to get the shot.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An extremely small percentage of Arkansas's cases are breakthroughs, which means that some people who are vaccinated are still testing positive for COVID-19.

Priscilla Harvey is one of those very rare cases and she believes it would've been much worse if she decided not to get the shot.

"If I hadn't had the vaccine, I'm afraid I would've ended up hospitalized," she said.

It all started one week ago for Harvey with a headache and body aches.

"I thought, 'oh I probably have RSV' because I heard that was going around and then I continued to feel worse," she said.

After a fever and sore throat came days later, Harvey's COVID-19 positive test didn't surprise her, even though she got both of her shots in February. 

"I feel like it could've been a lot worse had I not been vaccinated," she said.

Her mild symptoms, compared to what could've been, is why Harvey took to Facebook to let vaccinated people know this is happening and possibly motivate others.

"For people who are afraid of the vaccine, I was hoping maybe it would encourage them to go get vaccinated," she said.

According to the Department of Health, only 3.5% of COVID cases since January 25 are breakthrough cases. Out of the hospitalizations since then, only 1.7% are breakthroughs. 

Dr. Amanda Novack, Director of Infection Prevention at Baptist Health, said most people who are considered breakthroughs have mild symptoms. That's if they even have symptoms at all.

"The vast majority of vaccinated patients will not need to go in the hospital, will not need a ventilator, won't need extra oxygen or anything like that," she said.

Novack said Baptist Health is seeing more positive tests from vaccinated people due to the delta variant. Despite that, she wants people to understand that all of their patients who are critically ill are not vaccinated. 

"I can't promise to prevent the sniffles from COVID, that's not really the purpose of the vaccine," she said. "The purpose is to save lives and to keep people from getting very sick with COVID and the vaccines are still very effective at doing that."

Harvey said her current lingering symptoms are low energy and brain fog.

Dr. Novack said she's starting to encourage her friends and family, who are fully vaccinated, to wear a mask when they're in crowded places. 

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