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‘I thank God everyday, I got this vaccine’: New Orleans man shares breakthrough experience

He hopes he can inspire others to get the shot.
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A fully-vaccinated New Orleans man wants to share his story with those who are still hesitant about the COVID vaccines.

He’s a breakthrough case but completely asymptomatic.

“I’m 59 years old and thank God everyday I’ve got this vaccine,” William Lorenzo said.

Lorenzo has been vaccinated since March and would have never known he was infected, if not for his unvaccinated significant other developing symptoms and testing positive.

“That next day, I went and got tested and I tested positive but I don’t have symptoms because of the vaccine and I have them and the medical professionals to thank for that,” Lorenzo said.

Along with his significant other, who has an appointment set up for her first shot Wednesday, Lorenzo also has two other unvaccinated, COVID-positive family members. He says they’ve all been struggling with symptoms.

“It’s a bummer for me to be in this good of shape and to see in them down like that,” Lorenzo said. “It really bothers me but, when you don’t want to do something or you’re against something and you see proof in me, go get it done. That’s all I’m here to tell everybody, get it done. It’s not going to kill you.”

LDH reports the unvaccinated make up 91-percent of current hospitalizations and from July 22 to July 28, made up 90-percent of cases as well as 84-percent of deaths.

“Of the 10-percent that are vaccinated breakthrough hospitalizations, they are far older and and have other comorbidities,” Dr. Jennifer Avegno with the New Orleans Health Department said.

The average age of unvaccinated hospitalizations in some health systems can be as low as low as 50 years old.

“I just don’t know how to communicate any more clearly that vaccinations save lives and keep people out of the hospital,” Avegno said.

That’s why doctors say there isn’t the most complete data when it comes to breakthrough cases, because a lot of people, like Lorenzo, don’t even know they are have the virus.

Regardless, Lorenzo is grateful to have this protection.

“Trust science. Look at me, and get it done, it’s the best thing for you,” Lorenzo said. “You will be able to overcome this pandemic. Let’s get it over with, please, people, please.”

Nationwide, breakthrough cases still only represent a fraction of a percentage of over 167 million fully-vaccinated Americans.

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