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Nebraska group wants people with preexisting conditions as a priority for a COVID vaccine

Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 11:10 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - As phase 1b of vaccinations continues in Nebraska, many others are still waiting for theirs wondering when they’ll actually get it. DHHS has a timeline for when they’re expected, but some have seen their timelines change.

People with pre-existing conditions went from this phase in 1b to the general population with the state’s most current plan.

But, people within the down’s syndrome community said there’s still time to change it back.

“I’ll have so much more peace,” said Executive Director of Nebraska’s Down Syndrome Association for Families Jamie Bertucci.

With the state changing its vaccination plan, Bertucci and DSAF are asking the state to reconsider.

Bertucci said, “We just decided to go ahead and combined efforts and write a letter to our governor. we sent it to the mayor.”

According to the CDC, people with down’s syndrome are at higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19.

She’s not only looking at this from a leadership role, but also as a mother.

“My oldest son has down’s syndrome,” Bertucci said.

Her son, Nicholas, isn’t eligible for the vaccine but knows if he got COVID, he could become very sick.

“I think just having a child with this condition changes you,” Bertucci said.

She said adults with down’s syndrome vaccinations getting pushed back also delays returning to normal life.

Bertucci said, “Individuals don’t have that luxury. they are at risk. they can’t go back to work. they can’t return to volunteer.”

She hopes letters to state and local officials will get people with down’s syndrome higher on the vaccination list sooner rather than later.

Bertucci is also hopeful the state will consider vaccinating caregivers sooner.

This will help people like Bertucci to have another layer of protection for her son.

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