AN ANTI-VAXXER who attended a conference slamming the vaccine just a few weeks ago has died after Covid complications gave her double pneumonia.
Kelly Canon died on Monday after reportedly receiving a religious exemption from her employer to avoid getting the vaccine.
The Texas conservative had rallied against the vaccine and celebrated not having to get the jab.
Medical experts say the Covid vaccine has proven effective in reducing the risk of severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death in patients who are fully vaccinated.
Vaccine effectiveness & Omicron
Expert studies have shown that the risk of severe illness from Covid-19 is reduced by 90 percent or more among people who are fully vaccinated.
While there are breakthrough cases of Covid among people who are vaccinated, they are rare.
In the event of a breakthrough case, victims are highly unlikely to be hospitalized with severe or deadly symptoms from the virus.
Health officials have advised that the Omicron variant is more infectious and could lead to further breakthrough cases.
Yet the spread can be offset by all vaccinated Americans receiving a booster shot.
Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant.
With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.
Studies have also shown that side effects from the vaccine are extremely rare.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC continues to encourage Americans to get the vaccine and its booster to reduce the chances that they will catch Covid or suffer serious symptoms if they do.
Cannon had posted vaccine misinformation on her social media in the weeks leading up to her death, which was confirmed by the Arlington Republican Party on Facebook.
“Another tragedy and loss for our Republican family," the statement said.
"Our dear friend Kelly Canon lost her battle with pneumonia today.
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"Kelly will be forever in our hearts as a loyal and beloved friend and Patriot. Gone way too soon We will keep her family in our prayers.”
In November, Cannon had reportedly announced on Facebook her religious exemption.
“Good news!!!!! My employer has ‘granted’ my religious exemption request,” she wrote, according to the Daily Beast.
“No jabby-jabby for me! Praise GOD!”
On her Twitter page, she had shared wild conspiracy theories including a video that claimed the coronavirus pandemic was "planned" in advance.
"We've been blatantly lied to for 2 decades," Cannon wrote in another tweet.
Her final Facebook posts were about a recent "Covid symposium,” Daily Beast reports.
She shared a speech from the December event that discouraged people from getting the vaccine, despite the advice of health experts and its proven effectiveness against Covid.
The event had been organized by God Save Our Children, “a conservative group that is fighting against the use of experimental vaccines on our children.”
Just weeks after the symposium, Cannon was hospitalized for Covid-related pneumonia, one of the most serious complications of the virus, according to The Dallas Morning News.
As well as her outspoken vaccine stance, Cannon was well-known in Arlington for her campaign to ban red-light cameras in 2015.
They were later banned statewide.
In 2017, Canon also hit headlines when she released sexually explicit Facebook messages sent to her by then-Republican Congressman Joe Barton.
The congressman, who was married at the time, later resigned.
Some former colleagues paid tribute to Cannon after her death.
“She was smart, kind, loyal, dedicated, and a hard worker,” wrote Texas state Rep. Tony Tinderholt.
“I truly feel if it was not for her help, I would not be in the position I am in now … for that, I am forever grateful.”
“She was a headstrong activist and a grassroots leader,” Rick Barnes, president of the Tarrant County Republican Party, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“She was just one of those types that when she wanted to get something done, she was going to stand strong on it until it came about.”
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