Last week, the first Black United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, died from complications of COVID-19.
He was also battling cancer. Powell was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells that suppresses the body’s immune response.
Even though Powell was fully vaccinated to prevent COVID, the virus still affected him tremendously. Medical experts have noted that vaccines are not 100% effective. Studies show that Pfizer is 95 percent effective, Moderna is 94 percent effective, and Johnson & Johnson is about 66 percent effective.
With the Delta variant of COVID-19, those who have been fully vaccinated are still at a great risk of being infected.
But now, anti-vaxxers are now using Powell’s death as another motive to not get the vaccine. The anti-vaxxers believe that the vaccine does not work because Powell died from complications of the virus, while being fully vaccinated.
“Hearing of Mr. Powell and plenty of other casualties, I actually fear my own reaction to it,” Cheyenne Brown, said.
Those against the vaccine see this as an opportunity to say things about the efficiency of COVID-19 vaccinations, even though there were other factors that played a part in Powell’s death.
“The passing of Colin Powell deterred me from the vaccine even more,” Brenae’ Bennett, a student at Florida State University, said.
Anti-vaxxers are forgetting about the fact that Powell was battling a cancer that indeed suppressed his immune system. Powell was immunocompromised. Anyone who is immunocompromised, is at a greater risk of contracting another life-threatening illness and unfortunately, dying from Covid-19. There are also studies that show that multiple myeloma can make the vaccine shots less effective. Powell’s age also is a deciding factor, being that he was 84 years old.
“Since he had cancer as well, it makes me think that maybe it was a coincidence,” Grant Ross said.
Even though he is opposed to the vaccine, Ross’ view on the vaccine hasn’t changed, just because of the facts surrounding Powell’s death. He acknowledges that because of Powell’s cancer diagnosis, that it could’ve very well been the only reason that being fully vaccinated, did not work for him.
So the argument from the anti-vaxxers wouldn’t necessarily be strong enough to say that the three COVID-19 vaccines available are completely ineffective. Especially when there are other determining factors that could cause someone’s death such as another serious illness, age, and the fact that no vaccine is 100% effective.