Louisville family diagnosed with COVID-19 after vaccination

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:03 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 12:27 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Louisville family full of healthcare workers nearly escaped the pandemic without catching the coronavirus.

Only after they were vaccinated did they test positive for COVID-19. But they’re still praising the shot for keeping them out of the hospital.

“We found a lot of comfort in the fact that we are vaccinated,” Dedra Hayden said.

Bill and Dedra Hayden have worked many years in healthcare and have two children in their 20s, also working toward healthcare careers.

The Haydens were active volunteers at LouVax, the city’s mass vaccination site located at Broadbent Arena. The Haydens administered dozens of vaccines before receiving it themselves.

“We were very involved,” Dedra said. “We learned all of the rules, to be careful, to do everything you were supposed to do. So we were a little bit in denial when we showed up COVID positive.”

Last week, Bill traveled to Florida for a work-required trip. A few days after he returned home, he was diagnosed with COVID. Their daughter tested positive shortly after, and Dedra was diagnosed with the virus Thursday morning.

At first, Dedra said they were in denial that it was COVID because of their vaccinations. However, after many tests and their extensive knowledge in the field, they realized a person can still contract the virus after a vaccination.

The U.S. has access to three COVID vaccinations from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, all of which have an efficacy rate above 90 percent. Although the protection is high, it does not guarantee 100-percent immunity.

By being vaccinated, Dedra said their bodies are better able to fight off the virus and keep them out of the hospital.

“The vaccine can still protect you because you still have some antibody protection,” Dedra said. “So assuming you didn’t get the vaccine, you would have no protection, none of those fighters ready and available to address the variant that you were exposed to.”

Last week in Jefferson County, Louisville Metro Public Health reported 43 new COVID patients in the hospital. Dr. Sarah Moyer said nearly all of them were unvaccinated.

Anyone interested in receiving a vaccine in Louisville can do so for free.

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