A California woman is urging others to get the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they’re eligible after her boyfriend of three years was found deceased in his home days after testing positive for COVID-19.
Greg Bourque tested positive after visiting family for Christmas, according to a GoFundMe. He told his girlfriend, Jen Fromme, to stay at her mother’s home to avoid getting sick as well, assuring her that he was doing fine. They agreed that she would drive back the next day. But Fromme received devastating news before she could do so.
“Jen received a call from Greg’s son who said, ‘I won’t be here and neither will dad,'” the GoFundMe said.
Bourque, 55, was in “excellent health,” according to Fromme. When Fromme initially spoke to Bourque and he told her he tested positive, he said he was “feeling terrible.” However, he didn’t go into specifics about the symptoms he was experiencing.
She told San Diego news station KGTV that the pair were both vaccinated against COVID-19 and received the Pfizer vaccine in spring. However, they put off getting their booster shot, weighing the decision about whether it was necessary.
Like so many others in the United States, Fromme and Bourque decided to get the third dose of the vaccine ahead of the holidays. They attempted several times to get the booster at pharmacies before Christmas as walk-ins but were unsuccessful.
As Omicron, a highly infectious variant, spread widely across the country, Americans struggled to find vaccine and booster dose appointments. Many vaccination mega-sites closed down in the summer after vaccine interest plateaued, so pharmacies and health care providers have been shouldering the burden of vaccinating Americans.
Surges in demand for vaccines and testing put a strain on health care systems and many people complained they were unable to find appointments or had to travel far from their homes to get their booster dose. This prevented some from being able to get their third shot until after the holidays when families gathered.
Although the vaccine has been shown to offer some protection against becoming seriously ill or dying of COVID-19, immunity wanes over time. So, a person who was vaccinated early last year may no longer have strong protection against COVID-19, and studies show protection against Omicron is significantly bolstered by getting a booster dose.
Unable to get a booster dose as a walk-in patient, Fromme told KGTV she and Bourque scheduled an appointment for the first week of January.
“Looking back, I wish we would have gotten it sooner. This is scary business. Please get your vaccine and booster,” Fromme said.
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