This article has been corrected from the original version to show that Mississippi ranked 51st among U.S. states and the District of Columbia for the lowest fully vaccinated population.
Lee D. Vance, sheriff of Hinds County, Mississippi, died Aug. 4 of natural causes related to covid-19 while in quarantine at his home, 10 days after testing positive for the virus. He was fully vaccinated.
Vance, 63, had reported a covid-19 outbreak on July 21 at the Raymond Detention Facility and Work Center where he worked in Mississippi’s largest county. He tested positive the next day. Officials confirmed 74 covid-19 cases — 60 incarcerated people and 14 employees — as the highly infectious delta variant spread across the state.
A law enforcement veteran, Vance worked at the Jackson Police Department for more than 30 years, serving as the Jackson police chief from 2014 to 2017. He died in his first term as the sheriff of Hinds County.
As of this writing, Mississippi ranked 51st among U.S. states and the District of Columbia for the lowest fully vaccinated population (37.74 percent.) In Mississippi, 1,123,181 people are fully vaccinated.
As more people get shots, the percentage of hospitalizations and deaths among fully vaccinated people should rise, the New York Times reported. In Mississippi, vaccinated older people and people with weaker immune systems have been overrepresented among those hospitalized and dying, according to the state health department.
“We’re seeing a pretty dramatic spillover effect from the transmission in the community to our more vulnerable parts of our population,” said Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s state health officer, who emphasized that a higher proportion of breakthroughs did not mean the vaccine had become less effective.
Chokwe Antar Lumumba, mayor of Jackson, said Sheriff Vance was not only a friend to the city, “but I considered him a personal friend of mine…Our prayers are with his family and all of those who were touched by his life,” Mississippi Today reported.
Vance’s son, Lee Vance III, described his dad as a hero.
”I never thought that I’d be up here speaking on my father’s behalf,” he said. “To be honest, I thought my father would outlive me because he felt like a superhero to me. He was the real superhero to me and my family.”
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