KEY POINTS

  • The 44-year-old mom came down with COVID-19 last month despite getting vaccinated in March
  • She described the experience as "the flu on steroids, plus a stomach virus"
  • Despite her experience, she said she is grateful for the vaccine as she did not end up being hospitalized

A fully vaccinated woman in Wake County, North Carolina, who recently came down with a breakthrough infection of COVID-19 said she experienced "unbearable" symptoms during the two weeks she was sick.

Jennifer Rowell, 44, was sick for 10 to 12 days last month due to the coronavirus despite getting vaccinated in March, CBS 17 reported. The specific vaccine she received was not disclosed.

After receiving her vaccine doses earlier this year, the Garner mother said she did not worry too much about the virus despite knowing that vaccinated people could still be infected. But she said she was surprised by how hard COVID-19 hit when she got infected five months after her vaccination.

"The headache I had was unbearable," Rowell, who had no underlying health conditions prior to her infection, was quoted as saying. "Ibuprofen didn't touch it."

Additionally, Rowell said she experienced body aches and stomach issues because of COVID-19.

"I also had days and nights when it's like I couldn't catch my breath," Rowell recalled.

"It felt like, unfortunately, the flu on steroids, plus a stomach virus," she explained.

Rowell received a monoclonal antibody treatment halfway through her illness to help fight the infection.

"I think that helped me turn a corner that I wasn't turning on my own," Rowell said.

Despite getting sick, Rowell said she was still grateful she was vaccinated.

"I still feel like I was protected. I didn't end up in the hospital. It actually scares me to think what it could've been like without the vaccine," she said.

Rowell was also grateful that her husband and college-age kids were away and were not exposed to the coronavirus.

While Rowell's 8-year-old son tested positive for COVID-19, he did not get very sick. But the child had to miss three weeks of school due to quarantine.

"At first I was like, 'Wow. This seems like a really long time,' but now I get it. I mean, he tested positive close to the end of my quarantine, so if I would’ve sent him back to school, he could’ve spread it," Rowell said.

North Carolina has reported a total of 1.32 million COVID-19 cases as of Friday, state data showed. Fewer than 1% of fully vaccinated people in the state came down with the disease, according to the report.

Around 18% of new cases reportedly occurred in fully vaccinated people, but the health department said these cases were generally less severe than in unvaccinated people.

The nationwide total of COVID-19 infections is more than 41.8 million, while over 670,000 Americans have died of the disease since the start of the pandemic.

vaccination-2722937_1920 Representation. Jennifer Rowell, 44, came down with COVID-19 late last month despite being vaccinated. Photo: Pixabay