'Stay very vigilant': Doctor warns COVID vaccine is not a cure after contracting virus post inoculation

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As many wait their turn in line to get the vaccine, one local doctor is offering a reminder that it may not be a free pass to resume life as it was.

As a frontline worker, Dr. Sam Toroghi was one of the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine, but then got something else - a positive COVID test.

Outside of some minor side effects from the shot, he says things went well. Several days after the shot, he noticed something wasn't quite right.

"About nine to 10 days after getting the first dose of vaccine, I started to feel sick again; fever, chills, headaches, sore throat, cough, some shortness of breath," said Toroghi.

He says despite getting the first of a two-dose vaccine, he was now a COVID-19 patient.

"I have been treating COVID patients for about a year and I didn't get sick. Now, right after getting the vaccine, it is a little ironic and unusual, so I had my self tested and unfortunately, it came back positive," said Toroghi.

Toroghi, who also operates a YouTube page, called Chatter Docs, where he discusses medical issues like COVID, called his experience an unfortunate coincidence.

Action News reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Health about the effectiveness of the vaccine and officials said, "One of the most important things for Pennsylvanians to remember regarding the COVID-19 vaccine is that it is not a "cure" for the virus. It is simply another tool in our toolbelt, and we must continue mitigating efforts like hand washing, social distancing and wearing a mask."

"People should not lose hope or trust in this vaccine. In the world of medicine, nothing is 0 or 1. Nothing is 100% or 0%. Everything is living in limbo," said Toroghi.

Medical experts say keep in mind that the first vaccine shot gives you 50% immunity, which doesn't kick in for a week with the Pfizer vaccine and two weeks with the Moderna vaccine. The second dose then brings immunity to at least 90%.

"It's not a cure, it is not a magic wand and it does not just make COVID disappear just like that. It's very important for us all to get the vaccine but at the same time stay very vigilant," said Toroghi.
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