Foxborough, Massachusetts. (WHDH)-Asthma is now on the list of existing conditions that require patients to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new change made by Governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday.
Baker said he was following the CDC guidelines but added asthma to the list to introduce the vaccine to the minority community.
Two inhalers and a nebulizer help Cara Di Benedetto breathe. A 48-year-old East Boston mom said she had suffered from asthma since she was a child and this year is one of the toughest years for her.
“I’m in a position to faint and have to go to the hospital, which is scary,” she said. “I know the true potential of being infected with a COVID that can die because of my underlying health.”
When the state launched a vaccination program, Dibenedetto said she expected her to be shot first.
However, at that time, asthma was not considered one of the two medical conditions for which a person had to be vaccinated.
“Unsurprisingly, the patient is so worried about this inflammation of the lungs that he says you know.” Why am I not at the top of the list? “Brigham And Dr. Rakia Wright, an allergist at Women’s Hospital, explained.
Dibenedetto contacted Baker on Twitter and wrote: “Consider adding asthma to the list. I almost homed in a year, fearing that if COVID19 didn’t kill me completely, it would cause permanent damage to the already fragile lungs. It didn’t come out. “
Baker indicated that he had heard protests when he expanded the list to include moderate to severe asthma.
“We consider it as fair as a medical problem,” he said.
According to a 2017 CDC survey, blacks were significantly more likely to see an asthma emergency outpatient than whites.
The latest CDC data also show that more than 558,000 adults in Massachusetts live in this condition.
“Massachusetts has also identified moderate to severe asthma as a qualified condition because it has a disproportionate impact on the color community,” said Mary Lou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Welfare.
Attorney General Maura Healey praised this addition.
“Asthma is known to affect members of the black community, so I work with Ayanna Presley to list asthma as a known comorbidity that requires vaccine priority. I called, “she said.
Healy nevertheless said there was still more work to be done as more appointments came online.
“If we don’t find a way to provide a much higher percentage of vaccinations to the black and brown communities every day, we’ll only see widening racial inequality in this situation,” she said. “It’s unacceptable to me. It’s a shame,” he said.
Dibenedetto said he was sighing for relief now.
“I’m grateful that he specifically examined asthma and said he needed to hit these people because it would make them worse,” she said. “That’s why I’m grateful.”
Coming Thursday, the patient is at least 16 years old and must be suffering from two comorbidities on the list to get a shot.
Eligible comorbidities include cancer, COPD, kidney disease, Down’s disease, heart disease, obesity, pregnancy, smoking, sickle cell disease, type 2 diabetes, and asthma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..
Currently, more than 1 million people are eligible for vaccination.
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