Breakthrough COVID-19 cases share common thread: ‘General Powell did everything that he could to protect himself’


(WJW) – “General Powell did everything that he could to protect himself.”

Dr. Kristin Englund is an Infectious Disease Specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.

She offered insight Monday following the death of retired 4-star General Colin Powell.

He died Monday at age 84 from COVID-19 complications.

In addition to General Powell’s age, he also had an underlying health issue.

Powell had multiple myeloma, cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell that crowds out healthy blood cells.

Peggy Cifrino, Powell’s longtime aide, said he had been receiving treatment over the past few years.

What that tells us, Dr. Englund shared, is that we all have a shared responsibility to provide armor for ourselves and others.

“Surround yourself and people you love with the best methods of protection,” Dr. Englund said.

“The data clearly shows that the vaccines work extremely well.”

In Ohio, 205 people who were fully vaccinated for coronavirus have died since January of 2021, according to data from the state health department.

That’s .003% among all people fully vaccinated in the state.

At Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Englund says 90% of their patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

In the breakthrough cases they have seen at Cleveland Clinic, they are among people whose immune system hasn’t been able to respond with the help of the vaccine due to an underlying medical illness or different immune issues, such as transplant patients or cancer patients, like in Gen. Powell’s case.

“The biggest case of misinformation that we’re hearing is that COVID vaccines don’t work,” she shared.

“We all need to get the vaccine to protect vulnerable people,” said Dr. Englund.

General Powell’s family did not say when he was vaccinated or if he had received a booster shot.

9,195 unvaccinated people in Ohio have died of COVID-19 in 2021.

You can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine, booster or third dose at Cleveland Clinic here.

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