The Covid death of a fully vaccinated 66-year-old Illinois woman was caused by those who chose not to get inoculated, her family has said in an obituary.
Candace Cay Ayers, who was from Springfield, Illinois, was the mother of two and the grandmother of three children. She had been fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine in March, but died on 3 September after contracting a breakthrough infection.
“She was preceded in death by more than 4,531,799 others infected with Covid-19,” said the obituary, referring to the worldwide Covid death toll.
Sending a strong message to those who remain unvaccinated, the family levelled blame for Ayers’s death on vaccine hesitancy.
“She was vaccinated but was infected by others who chose not to be. The cost was her life,” it added.
Ayers’s family said she caught Covid in July when she went to visit an unvaccinated friend, whose husband had died from Covid.
She was hospitalised as her condition deteriorated and moved to the intensive care unit, where she spent her final days on a ventilator before dying from the infection.
“Mom was a fighter… and mom was so angry at people for not getting vaccinated and not wearing a mask,” her son, Marc Ayers, 36, told USA Today.
In a Facebook post almost a month before his mother’s death, Mr Ayers said their family believes in science and urged people to get vaccinated and follow mask mandates.
“If you’re able to get vaccinated and/or wear a mask but refuse to, just know that your selfish actions are threating (sic) the lives of others,” he said.
“We were responsible, we wore masks indoors, and were so happy to have received a full vaccine so we could exit this pandemic and move on with our lives. Unfortunately some of you bought into the political nature of this crisis and threatened the lives of my family,” he added.
He said both his parents got Covid during the trip. While his fully-vaccinated father recovered, his mother’s condition deteriorated as she had pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis, making her immunocompromised.
Breakthrough infections occur when a person catches Covid at least 14 days after the second dose of vaccination, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There is evidence that vaccinations make illness less severe for those who are vaccinated and still get sick, while others might not have any symptoms. The risk of infection, hospitalisation and death has been found to be much lower in vaccinated people compared to those unvaccinated.
A recent CDC study, conducted amid the spread of the Delta variant in the US and published earlier this month, found that around 46,312 cases, or 8 per cent of the total Covid cases between 4 April and 17 July in 13 jurisdictions were breakthrough infections.
“I would just wish (unvaccinated people) would read the story of my mom, what we as a family went through and see if that’s something they want to put their loved ones through, because I can probably assure you that it’s not,” Mr Ayers said.
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