A married Michigan couple who were fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 both died of the virus just one minute apart.
Cal Dunham, 59, and wife Linda, 66, ‘gained their angel wings’ Sunday despite taking precautions against the virus and being inoculated against it, relatives said.
The couple, who had undisclosed underlying health conditions, fell ill earlier this month during a family camping trip, the couple’s grieving daughter Sarah Dunham said.
‘[My dad] called me before our family camping trip and said he wasn’t feeling good but he thinks it’s just like sinus, and [Linda] caught it and she’s like, he gave me his cold,’ she told Fox17.
‘The third day they woke me up and said, “We’ve got to go because we don’t feel well.” So I packed them all up and they left.’
Michigan couple Linda and Cal Dunham died within a minute of each other from COVID-19
The couple died within a minute of each other Sunday while holding hands, family said.
The pair was hospitalized within days and placed on ventilators. Both suffered from pre-existing conditions.
They died while holding hands; Cal passed away at 11:07 a.m., and his wife followed at 11:08 a.m.
Cal Dunham updated his Facebook profile picture with a border May 15 to reflect getting his vaccine.
When friends commented that they had also gotten the jab, he commended them as being ‘awesome.’
Cal Dunham (left) celebrated getting the jab in a May Facebook post. It’s not clear how long immunity to the coronavirus lasts once you’ve been fully inoculated against it.
Kendra DeYoung, who launched a GoFundMe page for the family, described Linda Dunham as a ‘second mom’ who helped her through her formative years.
‘She was there for me during my first heartbreak, my first speeding ticket, decorating my first house, right by my side when I choose my wedding dress, my mistress of ceremony on my wedding day,’ DeYoung said in a Facebook tribute.
‘…I’m just shattered by this incredible loss, not only for myself, but for the world! As she absolutely made the World a better place! Mom, you will be sooo missed but celebrated.’
Vaccines have been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of contracting COVID, and severely reduce the symptoms in inoculated people who do catch it.
Unvaccinated people were more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study.
It’s not yet known how long immunity against coronavirus lasts once vaccinated.
The married couple started feeling unwell while on a family camping trip earlier this month
People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and could be unable to build the same level of immunity even with two doses, the CDC said.
It is recommending a third dose to bolster immunocompromised people’s response to the initial shots.
It’s not clear whether the couple received a third shot.
Last week, a fully-vaccinated Oklahoma City school teacher who was hospitalized with the virus credited the third shot with saving his life.
Ted Hartley, who had a liver transplant 10 years ago, urged others to get the jab as well.
‘Get as many as you need,’ he told The Oklahoman. ‘I needed three.’
His wife, Regina, credited the third dose with keeping him alive.
‘We’re just so grateful that he was able to get the booster shot in August because I’m sure that’s what saved him,’ she told the outlet. ‘And that’s why he’s coming home this week.’
At least 65 per cent of Americans have now had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, with 56 per cent of the US population fully-inoculated against the virus.