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Fully vaccinated man in Ohio hospitalized with COVID-19

Doctors say breakthrough cases are rare
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Posted at 2:38 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 17:38:15-04

MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio — Brendon Hrepic says he is still shocked that COVID-19 caught up with him when WEWS spoke with him via Zoom from his hospital bed.

“The doctor that I saw at the ER was like ‘you are literally the worse case that I’ve ever seen post-vaccination,’” said Hrepic.

The 31-year-old essential worker from Mayfield Heights said he did everything right throughout the pandemic, from social distancing to masking up.

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Brendon Hrepic

According to the vaccination card he shared with News 5 Cleveland, Hrepic has been fully vaccinated since April 19. But the man said last Wednesday his health began to take a turn.

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Hrepic's vaccination card shows that he received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Apirl 19.

“I had this recurring cough, and I couldn't smell or taste anything. I thought it was pretty unrealistic because I’m already vaccinated,” said Hrepic. “To be safe, I went to CVS and got a rapid test there, and it came back positive.”

Hrepic said he is battling some drastic symptoms in the hospital right now, and it’s still unclear how he caught the virus.

Dr. Claudia Hoyen with University Hospitals said breakthrough cases like Hrepic’s are rare but not surprising.

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Dr. Claudia Hoyen with University Hospitals speaks to News 5 via Zoom.

“Even if you’ve had two vaccines, you may be one of those five in 100 people who didn’t respond to it,” said Hoyen.

As Ohio prepares to ease restrictions on masks and capacity limits, Hoyen said we all need to proceed with caution and mask up if you are not vaccinated.

“We can’t go around wearing a sign saying what medical conditions we have or that my vaccines work 95%,” said Hoyen. “So it’s going to be important moving forward that we all respect each other.”

Hrepic believes it’s too soon to begin lifting coronavirus health orders in Ohio.

“I think that might be a little premature,” said Hrepic.

DeLaun Dillard at WEWS first reported this story.