▶ Watch Video: Senator Lindsey Graham tests positive for COVID-19

Washington — Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, said Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19 after having been vaccinated. He added that his symptoms likely would be worse had he not yet gotten his shot.

Graham said in a statement he began experiencing flu-like symptoms Saturday night and visited the doctor Monday morning. He was then told by the House physician he tested positive for the coronavirus, the South Carolina senator said.

“I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms. I will be quarantining for 10 days,” Graham said. “I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now. My symptoms would be far worse.”

The senator received his coronavirus vaccine in December, when it began being administered to members of Congress. 

While coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have risen due to the highly contagious Delta variant, public health officials argue the vaccines provide strong protection against serious illness from COVID-19 and death. Nearly all of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

A study published Friday from the Kaiser Family Foundation found the rate of breakthrough cases reported among those who are fully vaccinated is less than 1% in states that report such data.

Asked about news of Graham’s positive test, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said evidence overwhelmingly shows “breakthrough infections are rare and mild.”

“We certainly do hope that Senator Graham has a speedy recovery and experiences mild symptoms, and we wish him the best of health through that,” she said.