My fear is that enough people are not going to get vaccinated, or they’re not going to get vaccinated in a timely fashion, and we end up getting a horrible variant that puts us right back to where we are. — Kit Breshears, communications director for the University of Minnesota's Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing
My fear is that enough people are not going to get vaccinated, or they’re not going to get vaccinated in a timely fashion, and we end up getting a horrible variant that puts us right back to where we are. — Kit Breshears, communications director for the University of Minnesota's Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing
Even after being fully vaccinated, many still wrestle with a fear of catching Covid
“I don’t want to be sitting in a movie theater with ‘patient zero’ of a variant that bucks the vaccine.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Kit Breshears has been terrified of catching the coronavirus. Getting vaccinated did not magically change that.

For the past 13 months, Breshears, 44, of Buffalo, Minnesota, has not stepped foot inside a store or restaurant, not even to pick up a takeout meal. Any visits with family and friends have been over Zoom.

When he received his second Covid-19 shot earlier this month, he felt relief, he said — but with the pandemic still ongoing, he has found it impossible to turn off his anxiety.

“My fear is that enough people are not going to get vaccinated, or they’re not going to get vaccinated in a timely fashion, and we end up getting a horrible variant that puts us right back to where we are,” Breshears, a communications director at a local university, said. “I don’t want to be sitting in a movie theater with ‘patient zero’ of a variant that bucks the vaccine.”


With more than 93 million people, or more than a quarter of America, fully vaccinated, two camps have emerged: those making up for lost time in the form of house parties, happy hours and travel, and those who cannot shake the fear that they may still get the coronavirus.

Breshears is far from the only one in the latter category. A survey released last month by the American Psychological Association found that 48 percent of adults who have been vaccinated said they felt “uneasy” about returning to in-person interactions once the pandemic is over.

For the time being, some timidness is a good thing, public health experts say.

“We’re still involved in the disease containment phase of the pandemic,” said Tener Goodwin Veenema, a professor and visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Fully vaccinated individuals should feel confident in the protection they have received, she said, but should still wear their masks in public and avoid big groups of unmasked people.

Nonetheless, for healthy, fully vaccinated people, the fear of catching Covid-19 should not be paralyzing, said Vaile Wright, a clinical psychologist and the senior director of health care innovation at the American Psychological Association.

“With previous pandemics, like SARS and Ebola, we have seen agoraphobia,” she said, referring to the anxiety disorder in which people fear certain situations so much that they may not leave their homes. “At the end of the day, if you’re really, really struggling, then it’s time to seek out some professional help.”

... “No vaccine is 100 percent effective. These vaccines are no exception to that,” said Dr. Adam Ratner, director of pediatric infectious diseases at NYU Langone Health. “For a lot of people, the protection they get may be that it’s protecting them against needing to go to the hospital, or severe disease, or death, even if they do end up getting a Covid infection.”

Among the breakthrough cases, only 7 percent required hospitalization, the CDC said, and 74 people died. The deaths represent less than 0.0001 percent of all fully vaccinated people.

Compared to a flu vaccine, which may only be about 40 percent effective depending on the year, those numbers are encouraging, Ratner said.
Read the full article: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/even-after-being-fully-vaccinated-many-still-wrestle-fear-catching-n1265086