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Carthage woman says COVID vaccine likely saved her life

Watertown WWNY-TV logo Watertown WWNY-TV 7/1/2021 John Pirsos
a person posing for the camera: Nicole Hall © Provided by Watertown WWNY-TV Nicole Hall

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A Carthage woman says she tested positive for COVID despite being fully vaccinated. Because 49-year-old Nicole Hall has several underlying conditions, she says the vaccine probably saved her life.

She tested positive for COVID less than three weeks after receiving her second dose.

“If I had not had the vaccine, and then gotten COVID, I doubt very much I would’ve survived,” said Hall.

She says that because of her mdedical history, which includes diabetes, asthma, heart problems, and in March, a pair of hospital visits because of gastro intestinal bleeding.

“My son found me in a pool of blood at 4 o’clock in the morning,” she said.

Hall was originally treated at Carthage Area Hospital and says doctors did not expect her to survive. She recovered at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse by early April, but had to wait a month to receive the vaccine until she was strong enough.

Hall says she was on the fence about the vaccine, but decided to get it because of her underlying conditions.

Her second dose was on June 7. Less than three weeks later, she had trouble breathing after the mowing the lawn. So she got tested, and got the news from her doctor on Sunday.

“He’s, like, you have COVID. And I started swearing; I was really upset,” she said.

Hall says her temperature spiked to 101.7 on Monday, and breathing was difficult.

“It felt like my teenager sitting on my chest,” she said.

She started taking a steroid and has been feeling better each day. Now, she’s close to normal.

Dr. Joseph Wetterhahn of Samaritan Family Health says this serves as a reminder that you can still get COVID, despite being fully vaccinated.

“The chance of that is low; no vaccine is 100 percent, " he said.

Dr. Wetterhahn says the vaccine is more than 99 percent effective - a handful of percentage points higher than originally believed.

“We have no vaccination this effective,” he said.

As for the small percentage of people who still get COVID, Dr. Wetterhahn said, “If you do become infected, the symptoms are usually much milder.”

And that might’ve saved Hall’s life.

“I would’ve been dead before I was 50,” she said.

Hall says she’s on the road to recovery. Her 18-year-old son is also fully vaccinated and hasn’t felt any symptoms.

Both Hall and Dr. Wetterhahn are telling people this is why you should get vaccinated.

Copyright 2021 WWNY. All rights reserved.

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