Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Family lived with positive case for two weeks and didnt catch it

Three vaccinated people spent two weeks in a house with an 11-year-old with Covid-19 and did not catch it, her mother says.

Pāpāmoa mother Joanne Gates told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend her family’s experience, in her view, shows vaccination works and she backs it “110 per cent”.

“We have functioned in the house with her and not caught it,” she said.

“She had Covid, we didn’t catch it … because we were double vaxxed.”

Now that Shakyra has recovered, Joanne is adopting a “no vax, no visit” policy at her house.

“I don’t want to go through this again.”

Joanne is now pleading for those who are not yet vaccinated to “roll your sleeve up” and get vaccinated to protect children under 12 who cannot.

Shakyra Bachop-Mauger tested positive for Covid-19 on November 23. Her mother believes she caught it after “a fleeting hug” with an unvaccinated adult, who did not know they had the virus, at a family dinner.

Upon her positive test result, Shakyra had to spend two weeks in isolation at home. She wore a mask in a communal area and maintained a one-metre distance from her family.

Shakyra said she only had a runny nose when she had Covid-19 but it still made her feel “scared” because she “didn’t know what could happen to me”.

Being in isolation was “sad” because “I couldn’t hug my mum and I had to wear a mask in my own house”, she said.

“As soon as my mum said that I’m free and that I can do what I want, I gave them my biggest hug.”

Shakyra has now fully recovered and currently staying with her father, while Joanne, her partner and other daughter will get out of isolation on Tuesday. By then, they will all have been tested about six or seven times, Joanne said.

Joanne has warned people to be “vigilant” around Covid-19 symptoms, as Shakyra only had hayfever symptoms.

Joanne got her tested because they had seen someone who was a close contact of someone who “likely” had Covid-19.

“We all got tested and she was the one who came back positive.”

Joanne said Shakyra was “distraught” when she told her she had Covid-19.

“Immediately I got a bit upset and a bit of a tear in my eye,” Joanne said.

Joanne believes her daughter caught it because she was “a bit” immuno-compromised.

Shakyra was born prematurely at 26 weeks, and her lungs were “very compromised”.

“She caught a cold at the drop of a hat. I barely took her outside for the first year. She never went swimming for the first year.”

Five days before she got Covid-19, Joanne inquired with her doctor about getting Shakyra vaccinated early.

“But, of course, she couldn’t be vaccinated early because we don’t have the paediatric vaccine here yet.”

MedSafe was still considering advice on approving Pfizer’s paediatric vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds, but was expected to do so by January.

Joanne said she would “absolutely” get Shakyra vaccinated.

“I’ll definitely be trying for mid-January if she’s medically able.”

Christmas will be “a little bit different” this year due to her new “no vax, no visit” policy.

“I will not have unvaccinated people in my home again. It’s too easy to catch.

“I think we all have choices to make at this point and that is the choice I’ve made for our family.”

Joanne said she may change her approach once Shakyra was vaccinated, but she was “certainly still a vulnerable person who can’t have the choice to be vaccinated”.

Joanne will also now “absolutely” only spend time with people who are fully vaccinated and will likely only go to businesses who use the vaccine pass.

“I want to know when I’m going to a cafe I’m actually safe so I want people to really use the Covid pass.”

Joanne had always stressed the importance of vaccination and hoped the unvaccinated adult would now get vaccinated.

Those who were vaccine-hesitant needed to get vaccinated because waiting was “just not really a good option”.

“Shakyra needs people to actually do the right thing for her and there are other kids like her out there.”

Toi Te Ora Public Health medical officer of health Dr Lynne Lane said about 25 per cent of cases in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes DHB regions had been under 12 years old.

About 90 per cent of local positive cases had not been fully vaccinated according to available records, she said.

“The best way to minimise the risk for children under the age of 12, as well as those in our communities who are not able to be vaccinated, is for everyone else to have the full course of vaccination.

“We know that people who are vaccinated are less likely to be infected with Covid-19, less likely to get seriously ill and less likely to pass the virus on to other people.”

Studies showed that 95 per cent of people who had both doses of the vaccine were protected against getting Covid-19 symptoms, she said.

“Getting vaccinated is the number one protection against Covid-19 for you and your loved ones.”

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the Government was aiming to start the vaccine rollout for 5 to 11-year-olds around mid-January as most people would have finished their holidays and there was still some time before the school year began.

While children were less likely to experience severe illness from Covid-19, they were often more likely to be in crowded environments, such as schools, which help spread the virus.

Paediatric doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine were about a third of the adult dose.

Covid-19 update

Five new Covid-19 cases in the Bay of Plenty District Health Board region were reported yesterday by the Ministry of Health. Four were in the Tauranga area and one in the Western Bay of Plenty. Four were linked to previously reported cases and one was still being investigated. In the neighbouring Lakes DHB region, one new case in Rotorua was reported.

The ministry was saddened to report the deaths of two people who were in hospital with Covid-19. One person died at Middlemore Hospital. The second patient was admitted to Auckland City Hospital due to their Covid-19 infection, and the case had been referred to the coroner.

Ministry of Health data showed as of December 9, 92 per cent of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board’s eligible population had received one dose, while 85 per cent were fully vaccinated.

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