Fully vaccinated, COVID-19 positive: Hawaii residents share experience as doctors urge people not to shrug off symptoms

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — While officials say most of these cases are among unvaccinated individuals, some who are fully vaccinated are getting sick with COVID-19.

For an Oahu man, catching COVID-19 was something he never thought he’d experience. He says, he’s just grateful to be alive after fearing the worst.

Patrick McPherson got fully vaccinated back in April and continued to live life, but the unexpected happened.

“I went to the ER, because I was having difficulty breathing and I couldn’t stop coughing,” said Patrick McPherson, a fully vaccinated individual who contracted COVID-19. “My head was stuffy, I couldn’t smell anything. I thought, oh boy.”

McPherson’s fear came true with a positive COVID-19 test after a recent trip to California. The Oahu man also suffers from Crohn’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder, putting him at higher risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms.

“Your chest hurts so bad,” McPherson said. “This is not something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. This is something you want to avoid at all costs.”

Meanwhile, for restaurant worker, Chacyn Ancog, who is also fully vaccinated, his results took him by surprise.

“I didn’t feel sick at all or anything,” said Chacyn Ancog, a fully vaccinated individual who contracted COVID-19. “My roommate got tested positive because he was starting to feel sick. Since I live with him, I thought I should get tested for safety.”

Besides slight congestion and fatigue, Ancog says he felt fine, and that’s something doctors are seeing more of.

“Due to this new Delta variant infecting people that are already vaccinated, it’s causing a lot of confusion because the symptoms are very similar to having the cold,” said Dr. Tony Trpkovski, medical director and co-founder of Doctors of Waikiki.

Those symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, and a cough.

“If somebody has cold like symptoms, and they’ve been vaccinated and they’re not sure, they should get checked,” said Dr. Trpkovski. “If they’re vaccinated, and they’re still worried, they should come get checked.”

Lt. Gov. Josh Green says fully vaccinated people account for only about 3% of all COVID-19 cases, and that the best way to protect yourself and others, is to get vaccinated. That’s something McPherson says he’s thankful he did.

“I don’t know what would have happened without the vaccine,” McPherson said. “But the nice thing is tomorrow morning, I’m going to wake up again, and my daughter is going to have a father. That’s the important thing.”

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