Daughter of Fully Vaccinated Man Who Died in Rare COVID Breakthrough Case Supports Shots

The daughter of a man fully vaccinated against COVID who died following a rare breakthrough infection has said she fears her father would have suffered more if he had not had his shot.

Patricio Elizondo fell ill around a week ago, his daughter Yvonne Rodriguez told KSAT.com. Rodriguez believed her father was experiencing a flare-up of congestive heart failure or a recurring infection. Elizondo visited doctors a number of times and was admitted to hospital after he began struggling to breathe.

Rodriguez said she was "shocked" when a chest x-ray showed her father had caught COVID. "That was the last time that I got to see my dad in person," she said.

As his diabetes and heart problems put him at greater risk of developing severe COVID, he received his COVID vaccine and was careful to take precautions, including staying indoors and wearing a mask. Rodriguez said she did not know where her father caught the virus.

Elizondo died on Tuesday, with his cardiologist explaining he passed away because COVID had damaged his lungs.

Commenting on COVID vaccines, Rodriguez said: "I saw my dad, how sick as he was... I can't imagine how much more he would have suffered if he had not gotten the vaccine."

Dr. Jan Patterson, an infectious disease specialist at UT Health, told KSAT she believed Rodriguez was right in her assessment of COVID vaccines.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, "there is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe for those who are vaccinated and still get sick."

It also states vaccine breakthrough cases are expected as no vaccines are 100 percent effective at preventing people from getting sick. "There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19."

Experts recently told Newsweek that although breakthrough cases are concerning and warrant study, the bigger worry is the large numbers of unvaccinated people in the U.S. According to CDC data, only 50.3 percent of people in the U.S. were fully vaccinated against COVID by August 10. In comparison, 79 percent of people are vaccinated in Malta, the country with the highest proportion of fully vaccinated people in the world.
A New York Times analysis shows breakthrough fully vaccinated people account for between 0.1 percent and 5 percent of hospitalized people in data from 40 states and Washington D.C., and between 0.2 and 6 percent of those who have died.

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A stock image shows a hospital patient having their hand held. Getty Images