POISON's Rikki Rockett has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after being vaccinated.
The 59-year-old drummer, who lives outside Los Angeles, revealed his positive diagnosis in a video message shared on his social media earlier today.
He said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I was diagnosed, or got a positive test… My son and I stayed in the camper on Friday. On Saturday, he came down with symptoms. So Saturday afternoon, I took him to the urgent care and we had him tested. The doctor said, 'It's 50/50. We don't know.' Sunday, we got the call that he was positive. On Monday, I went in and got tested. It came back negative, 'cause I was a day early. And I got the results on Tuesday. By then, I was having symptoms. And so I went back in and got a rapid test. And it was positive. So, I'm not the only one in my family. Now everybody has it."
He continued: "Guess what: I'm vaccinated. I'm fully vaccinated, and I've been vaccinated for months. I don't know if this is the [COVID-19] delta variant, but every physican I've spoken to said it has every hallmark of being the delta variant."
"You're probably thinking to yourself, 'Vaccinated and you still got COVID. Do you feel like an idiot for getting vaccinated? No. The reason I don't feel that way is because I know that this would be way worse, especially if it was the delta variant. And I'm pretty sure — pretty, pretty sure; and I'm gonna get a DNA sequence to make sure — but absolutely every doctor that my family and I have come in contact with, and I think we're counting seven doctors now, have all said, 'It is the hallmarks… Everything that you describe is the delta variant.' So I'm quite confident that that's what it is. And that would completely devastate me if I hadn't had the vaccine."
Rikki added: "I am a cancer survivor — almost five years ago, I had cancer, and I've been cancer-free since then. I did a little inquiry with the clinic, and they said, 'No. We're getting dozens of people a day that are vaccinated that are testing positive with the delta variant.
"So, this is the predominant variant right now, and it just sucks, 'cause it's no fun — trust me — it's no fun. But it could have been a lot worse. I'm not on a respirator. My doctor told me yesterday. We had a nice call for about 20 minutes. I showed him all my numbers. But he said, 'I'm pretty convinced you're out of the woods.' It'd be very weird for me to just relapse all of a sudden."
Rockett, like many others, are showing that while vaccines are exceptionally effective in preventing death and severe illness from the coronavirus and its known variants, some are far from foolproof in preventing infection altogether.
Most of the people with so-called "breakthrough" infections are asymptomatic.
According to Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), large-scale clinical studies found that COVID-19 vaccination prevented most people from getting COVID-19. Research also provides growing evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) offer similar protection in real-world conditions. While these vaccines are effective, no vaccine prevents illness 100% of the time. For any vaccine, there are breakthrough cases.
New variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 illness are spreading in the United States and other countries. Current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most variants. However, some variants might cause illness in some people after they are fully vaccinated.
Rockett, whose real name is Richard Allan Ream, was diagnosed with oral cancer six years ago. In June 2015, Rikki visited his primary care doctor with a sore throat. His doctor found a small tumor at the base of his tongue, and Rikki learned he had human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oral cancer. He endured nine rounds of chemotherapy and 37 sessions of radiation therapy. The tumor initially responded, but returned three months later, spreading to his lymph nodes. Rikki then saw Dr. Ezra Cohen at UCSD Moores Cancer Center, who helped him enroll in a clinical trial of pembrolizumab (Keytruda). Rikki's tumor responded immediately. Just over two months into the trial, a scan revealed that his tumor had shrunk over 90 precent. Today Rikki is cancer-free, enjoys playing with his band, POISON, caring for his two children, and practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.