Chris Rock is no anti-vax celebrity. As noted by the New York Post, he even joked in a guest appearance on The Tonight Show about getting his COVID-19 vaccination, calling the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot that he received “the food stamps of vaccines.”
The 56-year-old SNL alum and standup comedian wrote, “Hey guys I just found out I have COVID, trust me you don’t want this. Get vaccinated.”
Rock last tweeted in June, so his Sept. 19th COVID announcement got plenty of attention, coming after such a long social media break. As the Post also pointed out, Rock has been pretty proactive in promoting anti-COVID measures:
Rock, 56, has been vocal in the fight against COVID throughout the pandemic—and even surprised New Yorkers by appearing at one of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conferences to urge mask-wearing.
“It’s the kids who really aren’t wearing a mask, and you know, it’s sad,” he said in May 2020. “It’s sad that our health has become, you know, a sort of political issue … It’s a status symbol, almost, to not wear a mask.”
If Rock was telling the truth—and there is no reason to suspect he is not—then it isn’t all that strange that he has a breakthrough infection.
LiveScience reported in August 2021 that Johnson & Johnson “does seem to have higher rates of breakthrough infection than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but that was expected based on the results of clinical trials.”
That said, even if he’s feeling crappy now, Chris Rock is likely going to pull through just fine, as according to Dr. Devang Sanghavi, a physician interviewed by the American Medical Association (AMA), “a majority of these breakthrough cases are going to be asymptomatic.”
However, said Dr. Sanghavi, “everybody should get vaccinated.”
Why? Because, said the doctor, even for those with weakened immune systems, the vaccine is still enough protection against COVID-19 “that infection would be mild as compared to a regular infection.”
Vaccines, after all, do not erase any possibility of catching whatever bug they’re for. They simply empower the body to more easily fight the infection. If symptoms do occur, the vast majority of the vaxxed will have a much milder course of illness than those with no resistance.