Local man dies from COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, daughter says

ATLANTA — A local woman says her father was fully vaccinated but still died from COVID-19.

Tanya Washington talked about her father’s death at an event Friday for National COVID Awareness Day.

Washington says her father, Carey Washington, 80, was fully vaccinated but was exposed to someone who was not. Now she’s encouraging more people to get the shot and mask up.

“My dad was the most-kindest, joyous person you would’ve ever met,” Washington said.

Washington said she is speaking out now to help others not suffer the way her father did.

“All the sudden I saw positive for COVID and my heart sank,” Washington said.

She said her father, who was a clinical psychologist, received the COVID-19 vaccine in January, but suddenly felt sick a few months later.

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Washington said that even while vaccinated, her father followed all the proper protocols. But she said her dad came in contact with someone who did not.

“I called the office on that Monday morning, and I said, ‘Hey, so my dad tested positive for COVID. He’s in the hospital in critical condition. Has anyone in the office tested positive?’ And he was like, ‘Oh, yeah, actually the secretary,’” Washington said.

She believes that COVID-positive, unvaccinated person in her father’s office exposed him to the virus.

“She started feeling ill on March 3,” Washington said. “We do know because she was unvaccinated, she had a very high level of viral load, like off the charts.”

Carey Washington died on March 25.

Earlier this week, global health expert Dr. Carlos del Rio spoke about breakthrough cases, where people who are vaccinated can still contract the virus.

He added that the likelihood of death in such cases were extremely rare and that most people hospitalized with COVID right now are unvaccinated.

“We’re seeing an increase of hospitalizations across the state and about 97% of hospitalized patients are not vaccinated, so again, it really is the vaccinations that will keep you from dying,” del Rio said.

“Everyone always says let’s get back to normal, but for us who have lost someone, our lives will never be normal,” Washington said. “I encourage people to please get vaccinated, wear your mask and let’s come together as a community.”

Washington will speak at the special event Saturday, where she hopes it will be a time to reflect and to act.

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