The Warrior’s Last Fight

Colin Powell’s cancer left the history-making former general and US Secretary of State with an impaired immune system that couldn’t fight off complications from COVID-19, AP reports.
 
Powell, who was vaccinated against COVID-19, had been treated in recent years for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood that weakens the body’s immune response. His age—84—may also have heightened his risk.
 
Experts reiterated the value of being vaccinated—people who are unvaccinated face an 11X higher risk of dying from the coronavirus.
 
The Quote: “We know that individuals who are older and have underlying medical conditions are more likely to suffer severe illness and to die following breakthrough infections,” Leana Wen, of the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, told CNN. “Note that this is one of the reasons booster shots are being recommended.”
 
Lesson: Rather than weakening the argument for getting vaccinated, Powell’s passing strengthens it, critical care physician Mangala Narasimhan, of Northwell Health in New York told AP. “The more people that are vaccinated, the less we have viral spreading in the community, the less chances of people like him getting infected to begin with,” Narasimhan said.
 
 
Related:
 
CDC chief urged to extend COVID-19 vaccine boosters to caregivers of patients with cancer – Healio
 
Vaccines less protective for multiple myeloma patients; beware of fake stem cell treatment claims for COVID-19 – Reuters
 
Powell to Woodward on health issues: 'Don't feel sorry for me' – The Hill

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