A mum whose lung nearly collapsed when she was first struck by Covid-19 said the jab made all the difference when she contracted it a second time.
Anouska Black, 32, from Co Down, Northern Ireland, said her body has been through "trauma" after she was originally diagnosed with the virus back in September 2020.
She said she "completely randomly" had an asthma attack and before she knew it she woke up in hospital with a lung that had nearly collapsed.
The mum and step mum, from Magheralin, told Belfast Live : "That's actually how I found out I got Covid."
The NI pageant queen was in and out of hospital for days before receiving a phone call to give her the dreaded news – she had the virus.
She said: "It kind of attacked my brain and my digestive system."
Anouska had no cough, temperature or loss of taste or smell. Instead, she suffered severe migraines, vomiting and diarrhoea – while sleeping around 20 hours each day.
Three months after being diagnosed, the 32-year-old was still not getting better, and said "every breath felt like glass".
By December, she was back in hospital.
Anouska said: "Living it all again that second time, knowing you've got Covid, there was no messing about, it was really scary.
"I think my mum still has PTSD from it. Her anxiety went through the roof."
The mum was put on tablets and given a full treatment plan. She has since gained multiple allergies, and in April, she was diagnosed with long Covid and post-Covid anxiety.
Speaking about her anxiety, she said: "I thought I was fine but the doctor actually said my body basically is showing signs of anxiety. My whole breathing pattern has changed. You can see my body has been through trauma."
Now, a year after catching Covid, Anouska has just tested positive again, despite being double jabbed since catching it the first time.
"I couldn't believe it to be honest," she said.
Can you catch Covid-19 twice?
It is possible to catch Covid twice, though it is unlikely.
It’s not yet known how long Covid-19 vaccine protection lasts.
Studies have shown that, for most people, catching the virus means you should be protected from getting it again for at least five months.
But this depends on each individual, and while it is unlikely, people have been known to catch Covid twice in a short space of time.
Data indicates fully vaccinated people are much less likely to catch Covid-19 twice than those who are not.
Earlier in October, Anouska broke out in an "almighty red rash" and said her teeth were "chattering".
She thought she was having an allergic reaction but has since been told could have been a symptom Covid and has tested positive.
Her partner also has coronavirus and they have both also been diagnosed with mild pneumonia.
Sharing a warning about Covid, Anouska said: "When you can't breathe, it is literally the scariest thing in the entire world. It's like drowning with air.
"Do not hang about with this - if you feel sick ring 111, ring your GP."
Speaking about the vaccine, she said: "I really believe it has saved me from going into hospital again. It hit me so hard last year. I was in hospital, I could have died.
"There's such a difference between the first time and the second time. And the only difference is, I've had the vaccine.
"I would not have liked to have taken a chance the second time."
She wanted to alert people to other symptoms of Covid, and said: "It's not just those three [symptoms]. There's no harm in staying up-to-date with the news."
Anouska wants to encourage others to give people personal space and consider doing big shops again instead of taking "unnecessary risks."
She said: "People have become so complacent. Life has to get back to normal, but just respect each other."Read More Read More