Massachusetts congressman tests positive for COVID-19 weeks after second vaccine dose

Rep. Stephen Lynch receives positive diagnosis on Friday after receiving shots prior to Biden inauguration

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U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch tested positive for COVID-19 a few weeks after receiving his second dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

The longtime Massachusetts Democratic congressman received the positive diagnosis on Friday and comes after a staff member in his Boston office also tested positive earlier in the week, Lynch spokesperson Molly Rose Tarpey said. Lynch received the second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and tested negative for COVID-19 prior to President Joe Biden‘s inauguration on Jan. 20, according to Fox News.

Lynch will vote by proxy in Congress during the coming week.

Chairman Stephen Lynch (D-MA) speaks during a hearing of a subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform September 22, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Lynch is the second member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to test positive for COVID-19. On Thursday, Democratic Rep. Lori Trahan announced she had tested positive after receiving a series of negative test results, and is also self-quarantining.

Read More: Moderna vaccine should protect recipients for at least a year, officials say

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to check in on my family & me over the past day,” she tweeted on Friday. “I’m isolating apart from my husband and girls who are negative & quarantining as well.”

Lynch’s positive test result after receiving the recommended two doses of the vaccine raises questions about the effectiveness of being vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

MSNBC reports that Boston University Infectious disease specialist, Dr. David Hamer said, “Neither the Pfizer nor Moderna vaccine is 100% protective based on the studies that were done. They’re both about 95% effective against symptomatic infections.”

Read More: Pfizer study suggests vaccine works against virus variant

Hamer said the science is still out on how well vaccines prevent asymptomatic infection — how well they prevent transmission.

“Is it a vaccine failure or is that the vaccine not prevent asymptomatic infection?” Hamer mused. “Is he protected against symptomatic infection, which would be great for him, because it can lessen the risk of hospitalizations?”

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