Plano Family Attributes Mild COVID-19 Symptoms to Vaccine

"I do think it would have been a lot worse for us if we weren't fully vaccinated," Plano woman says

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As doctors continue to urge people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, they are also asking people to get tested for the coronavirus if they show any symptoms related to allergies or the flu.

That's how a Plano family found out they had the coronavirus.

"My husband woke up with 102 fever and I felt him he was very warm. He didn't really have many symptoms, he felt like he had a sinus infection so we didn't really think anything of it the day before, and then he took the test and he was positive," 26-year-old Deborah Rostochil said.

She and her husband, Christian Smith, 24, received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in July. They wanted to protect their son, Carter, who was born prematurely this year.

"I was 28 weeks when he was born, he was 1 pound, 13 ounces, three months early, and he spent 91 days in the NICU. He was discharged on July 17, so we have been home exactly three weeks today," Rostochil said.

Two days ago, the three of them, including Carter, tested positive for COVID-19.

"Oh my gosh, I was so terrified. I want to be able to keep my son as safe as possible and hearing that he has COVID-19 when he's already been on a ventilator and, you know, he's already been through surgeries and so much it's just so scary," the new mother said.

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Rostochil said fortunately her son hasn't had many symptoms other than coughing and sneezing.

"He hasn't had a fever, he's eating perfectly fine. He does sleep a little bit more as you can see, but other than that, he's been pretty OK," she said.

As for herself, she said she feels like it's a bad sinus infection and believes the vaccine is doing its job.

"My husband's mom had it (COVID-19) last year before vaccinations came out and she was hospitalized for a very long time, so I do think that it would have been a lot worse for us if we weren't vaccinated," Rostochil said.

She said she's not sure where they contracted the virus, but said they wear masks when they go to the grocery store and the doctor's office.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent said vaccine breakthrough cases are to be expected since no vaccine offers 100% protection. A vaccine breakthrough is when someone still contracts COVID-19 even though they're fully vaccinated.

For example, in Dallas County, 84% of COVID-19 cases for the week of July 31 were residents who were not fully vaccinated, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Health experts continue to stress that a vaccine lowers the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death from the coronavirus.

"The people that are vaccinated are having much less symptoms, if any, and they're getting through it pretty quickly," said Dr. Bryan Lowery, who owns Frisco Concierge Medicine.

He said his practice has received a lot of calls recently from people who say they've been exposed to the virus and need a test.

"I think people with vaccinations who are getting exposed, it seems like they're having a lot of allergy-like symptoms like sneezing and sore throat. That's a marker for, 'Hey, go get your test.' We need everybody to get tested that has been exposed," Lowery said. "If you're having symptoms of allergies, flu or cold, go get a test, because we've got to know who to quarantine."

As for children, he said he has seen more come in with positive test results. While many kids are still fairing well with the virus, there are more cases and hospitals are seeing an increase of pediatric patients.

On Sunday, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council said currently there were 55 children hospitalized with the coronavirus in the region. It said it's among the highest level of pediatric COVID-19 patients the region has treated. Because of the unusually high number of RSV patients this summer, pediatric bed capacity is around 97%.

Rostochil said she's grateful her family is not severely ill, especially her son.

"I've just seen, you know, a lot of controversy revolving around the vaccine and I understand people's hesitations, I had mine at first as well, but seeing how easy it has been to cope with COVID-19 with the vaccine, it feels like a sinus infection," Rostochil said. "We're not extremely sick. Just please, please, please wear your masks, wash your hands and get vaccinated if you can."

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