The first person vaccinated in Canada, Gisèle Lévesque, still contracted COVID-19 two weeks after receiving her dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at CHSLD Saint-Antoine on December 14.
• Read also: [EN IMAGES] COVID-19: an octogenarian from Quebec is the first person vaccinated in the country
The vaccination of Gisèle Lévesque, 89, had raised a lot of hope in the population. Now, despite this first dose, Ms. Lévesque contracted the virus, very active in her CHSLD, some time before New Year’s Day.
Joined by The newspaper yesterday, Ms. Lévesque said however well recovering. ” Yes, I’m fine. I am very close to being healed, ”says the woman in isolation for two weeks.
Difficulty in breathing
Without being able to be more precise on the moment of the diagnosis, Ms. Lévesque indicated that she had felt symptoms just before the turn of the year.
“The symptoms are weakness and difficulty in breathing. I was out of breath, ”she recounts in a very audible voice.
The one who caught the virus about two weeks after her vaccination said she was not afraid and believes that the dose received helped her fight the disease.
” I think so. I would have had time to make myself little soldiers who helped me get through it, ”she says.
Immune or not?
If Ms. Lévesque is convinced that the vaccine has been beneficial to her, scientists are more careful about the real impact that the vaccine had on the lady.
Immunologist Alain Lamarre recalls that studies have shown that the vaccine gradually gained in effectiveness in the first two weeks after the injection.
“It is very likely that she was immune to the severe form of the disease,” said the professor from the National Institute for Scientific Research. On the other hand, given the age of the lady, it is also likely that the immunization had not been completed.
Dr. Gaston de Serres sees more questions than answers in Ms. Lévesque’s situation, especially because clinical studies have been done on younger, healthy people. “It is possible that she is less well protected given her age,” he speculates.
As a scientist, Dr de Serres will therefore analyze the data on mortality. “The death toll is the big issue we are going to focus on. ”
As such, the CHSLD Saint-Antoine could be a sad example. An outbreak struck just days before the launch of the vaccination pilot project. Since then, 36 residents have died, some of whom received the vaccine, while 68 cases are still active.