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Former Secretary of State General Colin Powell died on Monday at the age of 84 from complications related to COVID, although he was fully vaccinated, his family announced. His death, medical experts say, underscores the need for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots among older adults and high-risk populations to increase protection.

Powell suffered from Parkinson’s and other ailments including blood cancer multiple myeloma, which can hinder health benefit from COVID-19 infection, according to reports. His family did not say when Powell received the vaccine, or whether he had received a booster shot.

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Colin Powell, former secretary of state, dies of COVID-19 complications at age 84

“The vaccines we have, and that [Powell] Apparently fully vaccinated are exceptionally good at preventing death, hospitalization and serious disease but they are not perfect,” Mayo Clinic infectious disease specialist Dr. Greg Poland told Granthshala News. , adding that no matter the age, gender and underlying medical conditions of patients, up to 5% would not be completely safe.

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“That is why we are now engaging in a national dialogue about booster doses,” Poland said. regulator last month Authorized Booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adults 65 years of age and older, and those aged 18-64 at risk and at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease. An FDA advisory committee endorsed a similar authorization for Moderna’s half-dose booster shot, and also recommended all adults age 18 and older who received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months before. Got it, get a second shot.

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“The shot works. This is not proof that the shot doesn’t work,” Dr. Mark Siegel, Granthshala News medical contributor and professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health. “It’s an outlier but it’s a wake-up call for boosters.”

Several medical experts, including Dr. Aaron Glatt, chairman of the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai South Nassau, told Granthshala News that older adults and high-risk populations should receive booster vaccines to increase their protection.

“If any good can come out of this, it is a warning to all that booster doses have their place, especially in the more elderly, or debilitated or those with underlying medical conditions,” Poland said. “As soon as they can get their booster, they should.”

Granthshala News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.