A great-grandmother in the UK was diagnosed with COVID-19 just five days after getting her first vaccine shot — and passed away a couple weeks later.
Mary Green, a 92-year-old from North Tyneside, England, died of suspected sepsis on Jan. 17 at Charlton Court Care Home in Wallsend, where her son said she received her first jab on Dec. 31, the Evening Chronicle reported.
But Green, who also had dementia, was diagnosed with the deadly bug just five days later. Doctors told her family she was too weak to be transferred to another facility to undergo invasive treatment and would’ve likely found another environment confusing. She later succumbed to sepsis possibly caused by her new diagnosis, according to the report.
“She was a casualty of what we’re going through at the moment with COVID,” her son, Chris Green, 52, told the newspaper. “The care she needed in her final days wasn’t in a care home setting, it was in a hospital setting, and she couldn’t have that.”
Several other residents and staffers at the long-term care facility also tested positive for the virus earlier this month, Green said.
Another relative who asked not to be identified said they had not been able to visit Green at the home since March, adding that only a “couple of cases” had been noted since that time.
The unnamed relative reportedly believes Green got the vaccine either just before or right after she contracted the virus.
“You do wonder if they’ve let their guard down once they’ve had the vaccine,” the relative continued. “We haven’t been inside the home since March, we’ve only been able to see her from outside under a gazebo behind a screen.”
An in-person visit planned for Jan. 2 was eventually scuttled due to lockdowns, the newspaper reported.
It’s unclear which type of vaccine Green received, but it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build up COVID-19 immunity after inoculation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick,” a CDC website reads. “This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.”
Reps from the nursing home said staffers began getting vaccinated in mid-December, with residents getting their own shots weeks later as part of the “first roll out” in long-term care facilities in northeast England.
“Our staff team continue to adhere to strict Covid-19 preventative measures, including the use of PPE and regular testing in line with government guidelines, as they have done since the outbreak of the pandemic,” a Charlton Court spokesperson told the Chronicle in a statement. “We are grateful to our staff team who continue to care for all of our residents.”
The facility also sent its “sincere condolences” to Green’s relatives.
“There is nothing more important to us than the health and wellbeing of our residents,” the statement read.