Because Candace had an underlying condition, her family was hesitant for her to leave town. Full vaccination gave relatives confidence “My mother had severe rheumatoid arthritis. We were always the most concerned about her getting it because she was immunocompromised,” Ayers said. “We were wrestling with whether they should have traveled.
Marc Ayers believes his mother was infected when she visited Mississippi, where vaccination rates remain among the lowest in the nation. Only 42% of Mississippi’s population was fully vaccinated by mid-September, according to the state’s health department. The tally represents the total global coronavirus death toll.
“This all could have been avoided,” Ayers said. “This could have been prevented by a few acts of kindness. They were in a state that had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. Getting a vaccine and wearing a mask for others … had this been done, she would be here today.” “Candace Cay (Kruger) Ayers, 66, of Springfield, passed away on September 3, 2021, at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, IL. She was preceded in death by more than 4,531,799 others infected with Covid-19. She was vaccinated but was infected by others who chose not to be. The cost was her life.”
“This was to illustrate that this isn’t just an issue contained to the US, but it has a global impact,” Ayers said. “My mom was a fighter. She kept fighting and fighting and fighting. We wanted to send a point.” The family has gotten positive and negative feedback to the obituary, he said. The Ayers family is having a tough time processing Candace’s death and wanted to try to inspire others to get a vaccine and wear a mask, Marc Ayers said. Sharing daily worldwide Covid-19 death numbers in her obituary aimed to make people take pause, he said.
Breakthrough cases occur when someone tests positive for Covid-19 at least 14 days after they have been fully vaccinated, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such infections can cause disease with symptoms, and some people can have no symptoms at all. Research has shown that if people become infected after vaccination, typically they get a milder case.Between early April and mid-July — as the Delta variant was gaining dominance — fully vaccinated people represented 8% of all Covid-19 cases, 8% of hospitalizations and 9% of deaths, according to a CDC study published this month. And Candace Ayers was especially vulnerable because she was older and had an underlying health condition. About 70% of breakthrough cases resulting in hospitalization were among adults 65 and older and about 87% of breakthrough cases resulting in death were among adults 65 and older, according to the CDC data. “But things were looking so good, and with them being fully vaccinated, we just didn’t have any thoughts of them going to Mississippi. The Delta variant was just hitting the radar. Breakthrough cases were rare at that point. Our worst nightmare came true.”
The News Highlights
- Candace Ayers of Springfield, Illinois: In her obituary, one family says the death of a Covid-19 mother could have been prevented if more people had been vaccinated
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