Fully vaxxed Minnesota man speaks out after contracting one of the first cases of Omicron
The fully vaccinated Minnesota man who became one of the first Omicron cases in the country said he was “blindsided” but feeling fine after learning he was infected with the dreaded strain after coming back from a packed one in November. NYC Anime Convention.
Peter McGinn, 30, met with 35 people from a group of friends — 15 of whom have since tested positive — to attend the convention at the Javits Center, which attracted approximately 53,000 people from Nov. 20-22.
It is not known how many in that fully vaccinated group have the Omicron variant. The group had also all gone to a bar after the event.
McGinn, a health analyst from Minneapolis, was fully vaccinated and received his first booster shot the first week of November.
“I felt completely safe with the people I was with, so it never really occurred to me to think I had COVID,” McGinn told ABC. “I was just a little surprised.”
30-year-old Minneapolis health analyst, Peter McGinn, has spoken of how surprised he was after being one of the first people in the country to receive the Omicron variant, despite being fully vaccinated and given the booster shot.
McGinn had tested positive for the variant after traveling to New York in late November for the NYC Anime Convention at Javits Center
McGinn had also stated to his surprise that he had not only contracted the virus but also the new variant after taking a series of precautions.
“When I first heard it, I thought it was a super villain,” McGinn told the Star Tribune.
“It seems like a villainous name to me, so I think it would fit in here, since it’s a virus.”
McGinn had flown to New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Nov. 18 and was staying with two friends in an Airbnb in Hell’s Kitchen. He attended the convention on November 20.
After returning home from the convention on Nov. 22, a friend had confirmed a positive result for COVID, prompting McGinn to take a test.
McGinn then found that he tested positive for the virus after taking a home test and later went to a PCR testing site for further confirmation.
After returning home from convention, McGinn tested positive for COVID before receiving news that he had contracted the variant nearly a week later.
“That confused me because I really didn’t feel sick,” he said.
He said he suffered from a mild runny nose and a mild cough, which he attributed to exhaustion and his asthma.
He also thought his symptoms were related to a 15-mile trek he took around town with his friends.
Almost a week after receiving the positive result, he was called up for routine contact tracing.
McGinn was told on Dec. 1 that he had been exposed to the new strain after Minnesota health officials confirmed his samples were part of Omicron.
Despite the diagnosis, McGinn said he didn’t really feel sick and recovered quite quickly.
“A lot of it was like, ‘Look, vaccines don’t work.’ But in my opinion they definitely work because they reduce the number of people who are in hospital,” he told the Tribune.
“You may still get COVID, but it will reduce symptoms based on my experience.”
He also said he is a supporter of the vaccine and encourages others to get the booster shot.
“I’m very pro-science, pro-vaccine,” he said. “I do believe that the booster and getting the vaccine reduced the symptoms I had.
“And I would definitely recommend anyone who gets the booster, if at all possible.”
Approximately 53,000 people attended the convention and McGinn interacted with approximately 35 people
The convention was held between November 19 and 21, which many attributed to the spread of the new variant
McGinn is curious about the long-term dangers of the new species.
“I honestly felt good the whole time,” he said. “I’m more interested in seeing the results, as if more people are getting this and their reaction to it.”
Four of the group members who were with McGinn and have since tested positive are working with the Minnesota Department of Health to see if they contracted the Omicron variant.
Members of the group of friends came from a range of states across the country — raising fears that the convention contributed — and may still contribute — to the tribe’s spread across the country.
Those fears were confirmed on Saturday when Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont reported the first case in his state contracted by a man in his 60s who had a relative attending the anime convention.
Images released by the Covid Genomics UK Consortium show the drastic increase in spike protein mutations in the Omciron COVID-19 variant compared to the Delta variant
The man, who was fully vaccinated, began experiencing mild symptoms on Nov. 27 and was tested on Nov. 29, officials say. His sample was then passed on to the Department of Health, which discovered the ommicron variant.
Both the man and his relative were fully vaccinated and experienced only mild symptoms, officials say.
The Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa and has now spread to 38 different countries, including at least 17 states in the US.
Massachusetts announced its first case on Saturday, a day after New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Missouri reported their first confirmed cases.
The variant has also been detected in Nebraska, Minnesota, California, Hawaii, Colorado and Utah.
The WHO warned it could take weeks to determine how contagious the variant is, whether it causes more serious illness, and how effective treatments and vaccines are against it.
Anime NYC Released A Statement After Being Notified Of McGinn’s Diagnosis
Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio warned those attending the three-day anime event to receive a COVID-19 test “immediately.”
In an interview with CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci told the network that there is “not much seriousness” in terms of the new variant.
However, he added that more studies and research are needed to draw further conclusions.
Fauci also praised South Africa for their efficiency during this time, as the US travel ban is still intact.
“We all feel very bad about the hardship that could befall not only South Africa, but also the other African countries,” he added.
He said he hopes the travel ban will be lifted within a “reasonable time.”