Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass) is down with the coronavirus. This development is coming only days after the congressman received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, he is said to be without symptoms and would be self-quarantining at home.
According to his spokesperson, Molly Rose Tarpey, a staff member in Lynch’s office had tested positive for the virus earlier in the week. This may have prompted Lynch to undergo the test, which turned out positive. Lynch will remain at home while he recovers from the disease and would still be able to cast his vote in Congress in the coming week, although this would be done by proxy.
Lynch’s major public outing was at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, which took place on January 20. Before then, the congressman had tested negative for the coronavirus and had received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, spokeswoman for Lynch did not state precisely when the congressman received each dose of the vaccine.
Experts say the vaccine is designed to prevent illness and does not necessarily stop one from becoming infected with the virus. A situation whereby one comes down with the virus but does not get sick after having vaccinated means, in essence, that the vaccine was efficacious. On the other hand, if one should test positive to COVID-19 days or weeks after receiving the vaccine, it may be that the vaccine is yet to fully take effect.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, it takes a few weeks for a person to build up immunity occasioned by the administration of the vaccine, CBS News reports.
Lynch becomes only the latest in a long list of congressmen/women that have tested positive for the coronavirus infection since the pandemic commenced. Only on Thursday, a member of the Massachusetts House delegation tested positive for COVID-19. Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass) was in Washington the previous week and received her new positive status after returning to Massachusetts.
Trahan is also expected to cast her votes in the House via proxy this week.
Health experts have tagged the January 6 riots at the US Capitol a superspreader event after some members of Congress tested positive to COVID-19 days after the sad incident. Scores of Capitol police officers have also tested positive for the virus.
During the early part of this month, some members of Congress in the House came down with COVID-19. This was as a result of spending time with other Republican members who refused to wear masks. The current death rate figure of Americans stands at over 436,000, while almost 26 million people have so far contracted the virus.