US Rep. Stephen Lynch has tested positive for the coronavirus, despite having had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The Massachusetts Democrat received the result Friday, "after a staff member in the Congressman's Boston office had tested positive earlier in the week," a spokeswoman said. Lynch "feels fine," isn't showing symptoms, she said, and will cast his House votes by proxy next week. He attended President Biden's inauguration after getting the second vaccine dose and testing negative. On Thursday, another Massachusetts Democrat, Rep. Lori Trahan, announced that she is among the 26 million Americans who have tested positive, per WYCN. Trahan tweeted that she's in self-quaratine and also will vote by proxy, per CBS.
For COVID-19 vaccine recipients, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, it "typically takes a few weeks" after having the shots to build immunity. The vaccines are designed to prevent illness, but not necessarily infection, per the Boston Herald. Also, a Boston University infectious diseases specialist pointed out, they're not perfect. "Neither the Pfizer nor Moderna vaccine is 100% protective based on the studies that were done," he said. "They're both about 95% effective against symptomatic infections." Their efficacy against asymptomatic infection and transmission isn't clear. More than three dozen Capitol Police officers and several members of Congress have tested positive for the virus since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, which health experts say appears to have been a super spreader event. Lawmakers who caught the virus had sheltered in place during the riot with colleagues who were not wearing masks. (Another lawmaker who tested positive blamed Republicans.)