Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) has tested positive for the coronavirus, after receiving both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to multiple reports.
The news of Lynch’s diagnosis is a reminder to those who have recently received vaccinations to remain especially vigilant in the two weeks following the administration of the second dose, and to closely follow vaccine guidelines.
A spokesperson for Lynch, Molly Rose Tarpey, said in a statement obtained by CBS News that the congressman had received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and subsequently received a negative COVID-19 test before attending President Biden’s inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20.
“While Mr. Lynch remains asymptomatic and feels fine, he will self-quarantine and will vote by proxy in Congress during the coming week,” she said.
Tarpey told CBS News that the Massachusetts lawmaker had tested positive for the virus on Friday afternoon after a staff member in his Boston office tested positive earlier in the week.
Tarpey added that Lynch “has followed CDC guidelines and continues to do so since he received the vaccine.”
While the exact timing of when Lynch received his first and second doses of the vaccine is not immediately clear, medical experts have indicated that instances of positive tests for coronavirus after receiving the first or even both doses of the vaccine are not unexpected as vaccines are rarely, if ever, completely effective right away after they are administered.
Per clinical data, Pfizer’s vaccine is about 52 percent effective at preventing illness after the first dose, compared to 95 percent effectiveness seven days after the second shot the Post points out.
Health experts also noted it typically takes one week after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to reach efficacy of 95 percent. It usually takes two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna vaccine to reach 94 percent efficacy, experts have said.
Trahan received her first shot of one of the vaccines last week, her spokesperson Francis Grubar told the Washington Post.
The news of Lynch’s positive diagnosis comes after another Democrat from Massachusetts, Rep. Lori Trahan, announced in a tweet on Thursday that she had tested positive for the virus and was asymptomatic.
“I encourage everyone to continue taking this virus seriously and to follow the science and data-driven guidance to wear a mask, maintain a safe social distance from others, avoid large gatherings and stay home whenever possible,” Trahan said.