The longtime anchor, who is immunocompromised, got a breakthrough COVID-19 infection but said the vaccine kept him from a “far more dire situation”

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Neil Cavuto
Neil Cavuto
| Credit: Fox News

Unlike most other anchors on his network, Fox News' Neil Cavuto urged viewers on Sunday to "stop the suffering," ignore the politics and get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The longtime host, 63, went on the network's MediaBuzz show to plead with Fox News watchers to get inoculated after he tested positive for a breakthrough case of the virus.

"Life is too short to be an ass. Life is way too short to be ignorant of the promise of something that is helping people worldwide. Stop the deaths. Stop the suffering. Please get vaccinated. Please," he said.

Cavuto announced Tuesday that he had COVID-19 and emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated. The anchor has multiple sclerosis, underwent triple bypass heart surgery in 2016 and is in remission from stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma, and his doctors said that he would be in a "far more dire situation" without the vaccine, Cavuto said.

"I'm surviving this because I did" get vaccinated, he said.

Breakthrough cases — COVID-19 infections that occur in people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus — are possible and expected, as the vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infections. Still, vaccinated people who test positive will likely be asymptomatic or experience a far milder illness than if they were not vaccinated. The majority of deaths from COVID-19 — around 98 to 99% — are in unvaccinated people.

On Sunday, Cavuto pointed out that even those who aren't immunocompromised like himself can help those that are by getting vaccinated.

"In the end, if you can get vaccinated and think of someone else and think of what that could mean to them and their survivability from something like this, we'll all be better off," he said.

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While his fellow Fox New anchors like Tucker Carlson, who is also vaccinated, rail against the COVID-19 vaccines, Cavuto said to "take the political speaking points and toss them for now."

"I know [urging vaccinations is] going to get me in trouble," he said.

Cavuto has worked to avoid getting COVID-19 throughout the pandemic due to his health history, and spent seven months broadcasting from his home studio last year instead of working from Fox News headquarters in New York City.

He made his return to the office in November to cover the 2020 presidential election, and told PEOPLE in October, ahead of that day, that he was doing his best to stay safe.

"I'm a little extra cautious about this than maybe a lot of people because I'm at target for all the stuff that could possibly make you vulnerable to COVID-19," he said at the time. "You just don't know. I don't get a cavalier or arrogant attitude with this. More than 230,000 Americans are dead and more than a million worldwide are dead. There are millions more, who've dealt with this in hospitalizations. You don't take this lightly."