Powell’s death impacting people’s perceptions of vaccine effectiveness and the immunocompromised

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell is raising questions about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

RELATED: Colin Powell dies from COVID-19 complications

Despite being fully vaccinated his family said he died from coronavirus complications. However, he did suffer from a type of blood cancer.

FOX13 talked to people about how his death is affecting people’s decision to get vaccinated.

”I respected him. I admired him. He was a great man, even for a Republican,” said Willie James Faulkner.

Faulkner, an Army veteran, says Colin Powell’s death should not stop people from getting vaccinated.

“Nuts will use anything available to get their agenda across,” said Faulkner.

But Powell’s death may stop people from getting vaccinated because he was fully vaccinated, but he still died from COVID complications Monday according to his family.

“Colin Powell’s death is just proof the vaccine is not a guarantee,” said Rooks.

Health leaders said Powell’s death was due in part to the underlying health issues his family says the 84-year-old was battling, including blood cancer that makes it hard to fight viruses.

RELATED: Total US COVID-19 cases top 45 million as death toll surpasses 725,000

”The vaccine still does its work. There are people in our population who cannot mount sufficient immunity even with the vaccine,” said Dr. Odilichi Ezenwanne who practices at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center.

Doctors said to protect immunocompromised people like Powell, you should get vaccinated.

”We have to protect them. Even with the third dose or even with their complete series there still at risk of succumbing to this death,” said Ezenwanne.

”I been dead a long time ago if it weren’t for shots. And a lot of others. So don’t fall for the okey-doke,” said Rooks.

More than 40% of residents eligible to get vaccinated across Shelby County have done so. The goal is 70%.