A Vaccinated Arizona Lawmaker Got COVID, But Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Skip the Vaccine

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool

By Bree Burkitt

May 5, 2021

Out of the nearly 2.3 million people Arizonans fully vaccinated, less than .05% have been diagnosed with COVID.

Arizona Rep. Alma Hernández announced last week that she had been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

While that isn’t surprising more than a year into the pandemic, Hernandez’s case is notable because she’s already received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“I have been fully vaccinated for two months now,” the 28-year-old Tucson Democrat said in a video posted to Twitter on April 29. “It’s important to note that my situation would be much worse right now if it wasn’t for me being vaccinated.” 

Hernández is one of nearly 950 fully immunized Arizona residents diagnosed with COVID-19—known as a breakthrough infection—after receiving their vaccines. She was vaccinated in February and started to feel sick on April 28. She got tested immediately and let everyone she came into contact with know about her positive result. 

On Tuesday, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 701 new cases and 11 deaths. 

Out of the nearly 2.3 million people Arizonans fully vaccinated, less than .05% have been diagnosed with COVID.

While research shows COVID-19 vaccines are effective, the CDC warned that scientists are still learning how well they work against preventing spread to others and variants of the virus. Early data shows that vaccinated individuals who do get COVID are less likely to spread it to others. 

According to the Center for Disease Control, those who get sick after getting the vaccine will likely experience less severe symptoms. 

Hernández noted that she lives with her brother, Democratic Rep. Daniel Hernández, and that he did not get COVID. If anything, she said, her diagnosis further proves how important it is to get vaccinated.

“The pandemic is far from over and I encourage you again, if you have not been vaccinated, to please go out and get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent more serious illnesses from happening and to prevent you all from going to the hospital,” she said. 

The CDC urges everyone—even those who have been fully vaccinated—to still take precautions in public places, including wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, avoiding crowds, and frequently washing hands. 


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