'I was feeling awful': Breakthrough patient describes COVID-19 battle

Jamie Bone, a Davis County Health Department registered nurse, prepares a syringe of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Legacy Center Indoor Arena in Farmington on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Barbara Hunt was fully vaccinated when she tested positive for COVID-19. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman recently tested positive for COVID-19 just months after getting her vaccine. Barbara Hart works in health care and was fully vaccinated by the end of January.

She was relieved to have the protection but then over Memorial Day weekend, she started coming down with what she thought were allergies.

"I just felt a little odd," Hart said. "I thought it was just allergies, a little tickle in my throat, a tickly cough."

Over the next few days, her condition worsened. By midweek, she knew it was more than allergies.

"I was feeling pretty awful."

She took a COVID-19 test. Her results came back positive.

"I had a sinking suspicion that even though I was vaccinated, I should have been feeling better by now."

She was "sickest I have ever been" for two weeks. She was too sick to "even watch TV."


Hart is one of roughly 1,300 Utahns who have come down with breakthrough COVID-19, meaning they're getting the virus after getting the vaccine.

It surprised Hart. She tested positive for the antibodies even though she thought she was immune.

She understands people are sick of masks, social distancing, and excessive hand washing. However, if there's one thing she learned from this, it's that COVID-19 is not over yet.

She's relieved she was vaccinated and believes her condition could have been much worse had she not had the vaccine to protect her.

Click here to find out where to get a vaccine in Utah.

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Debbie Worthen


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