KEY POINTS

  • Laura Eugene and her husband received the J&J vaccine on March 6
  • Her husband was diagnosed with COVID-19 three weeks later
  • Experts say testing positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated is rare

A man in New Jersey is now in critical condition after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.

Laura Eugene, the patient’s wife, said she and her husband each received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on March 6. However, her husband began feeling ill on April 1. 

"He started to feel like he had a sore throat stuffy, his coughing and then he started to run a fever, started to feel fatigue. He just gets it every day -- just kept on getting a symptom," Eugene told ABC News

Doctors diagnosed her husband with COVID-19 on April 1. He is now in critical condition and is receiving treatment for pneumonia. 

"I want to see from now whether he progresses or if he deteriorates -- or they just don't know which way, because they can't tell," she said. 

It turns out her husband wasn't the only member of their family to get the coronavirus.

"Me, my son, my husband, my grandkids came to visit -- we didn't know we had COVID," Eugene said. "They were tested positive as well. So, everybody's in quarantine until next Sunday."

And the Eugene family aren't the only people in the U.S. to have contracted the coronavirus despite being completely vaccinated.

In Brooklyn, 31-year-old Ashley Allen tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks after she received the J&J shot. 

Allen booked an appointment for the one-dose vaccine at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on March 10, she told New York Post in a phone interview. She began exhibiting coronavirus-like symptoms three weeks later.

“On Wednesday, March 31, I started feeling like a scratch, a tickle in my throat of some sort. It was super dry,” she recalled. “Then I kept having this dry cough. It kinda felt like I had allergies.”

“It started getting really bad, to the point where I did go to City MD,” she added. 

Allen was given a rapid coronavirus test on April 4, and another one on April 5. Both rapid tests showed she was positive for COVID-19. Doctors later performed a PCR test to confirm her diagnosis. 

Health experts say testing positive for COVID-19 after being inoculated is rare. Dr. Kris Bungay, a Manhattan primary care physician, said the coronavirus vaccine does not necessarily prevent infections but protects recipients against hospitalization and death. 

“It was not common in the clinical trials for patients to be symptomatic after getting vaccinated,” Bungay added. 

The J&J coronavirus vaccine has a 74.4% efficacy rate in the U.S. It also provides 100% protection against hospitalization and death from COVID-19. 

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine The European Commission formally gave the green light for the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine after the Amsterdam-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended approval Photo: AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS