While the timeline he describes doesn't instill total confidence, Golden State Warriors player Damion Lee is on the injured list and recovering from a case of COVID-19, after allegedly being fully vaccinated.
While "breakthrough" cases of COVID have happened among the fully vaccinated in small numbers, it's not 100% clear that Lee's case is one of those, or if his COVID infection was just inconveniently timed.
As ESPN reports, Lee said on Thursday, "I did test positive for COVID about two weeks ago. I did get the vaccine the middle, end of March, but essentially this was just a rare breakthrough case. ... Right now, there's no timeline in the immediate future for me coming back and playing."
Lee reportedly received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and became symptomatic sometime around April 19, which was the last time he was on the court. On April 21, he tested positive for COVID-19, and says he experienced "headache, chills, sneezing, congestion, soreness, body aches," and shortness of breath. "It felt like I was hit by a car. Like hit by two cars at once every step I took. It hurt, it was pain, soreness. It felt like there was a weight on my chest for a couple of days, like it was just hard to breathe," he said.
The exact date of Lee's vaccination is not known, and various factors can impact a person's immune response after receiving a vaccine. If he received the vaccine around March 31, he should have been fully immunized by around April 14 — but it's also possible that he was infected and did not show symptoms for 10 days after transmission, which would mean it's possible that he was infected before the 14-day window for vaccine efficacy was up.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was found to be 74.4% effective in U.S. trials at preventing serious illness, and 100% effective at preventing hospitalization and death.
Lee was on the sidelines for Thursday night's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he was cleared to return to the Warriors' facility. He told reporters he still is being monitored by doctors and is getting a chest X-ray on Monday.
Coach Steve Kerr tells ESPN, "It's shocking... [Lee] hasn't been able to work out at all, so we'll see what happens basketball-wise. But the main thing is he's healthy and feeling better and we're obviously relieved about that."
Top image: Damion Lee in February. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images