COVID-19

An Underlying Health Condition does not Secure a Front Spot in the Vaccine Line

USA has made the term of underlying health conditions very popular in the month of March of 2020 amidst the havoc of the pandemic. Even the news and media platforms had popularized the fact that having underlying health conditions makes a person potential of catching this nouveau virus. However, the cautionary messages are seeming to be fading quite fast. In several states, patients or people who are suffering from fatal or serious underlying health conditions are still waiting for their COVID-19 vaccine shot. 

A new outcry has come up in the US today where people suffering from serious ailments are placed far below those who have non-injurious conditions or those having lower risk. The sudden change in the plan has left many flabbergasted. 

When the COVID-19 casualty rate was surging uncontrollably, people with serious health issues had been advised by the government to stock up their medical supplies, and stay home. The goal back then was to prevent the vulnerable persons from getting exposed to this deadly virus, especially that one disease which still did not have any anecdotes. This advisory had been given out nationwide, and from then people knew that the most appropriate way of vaccination procedure would be to administer it in those who are at a higher risk from COVID-19. 

As per studies, above 30,000 people are suffering from Cystic Fibrosis, a rare genetic disease which gradually results in decline of respiratory functions and failure. As COVID-19 affects our respiratory organs drastically, people having CF are at an extremely great risk of catching up the virus. Thus, naturally they must be listed among the top of the vaccination list. However, that is not the case anymore. Outrageously enough, people who are mere smokers are getting the shot prior to a person having CF. 

About 799 people have already contracted the virus by mid-January in US and 15% of them have been hospitalized in a critical condition, as per the data revealed by the Cystic Fibrosis Society. Moreover, patients who have already undergone double lung transplants, or are suffering from associated diseases like diabetes and lung infections are extremely prone of dying of COVID-19, if not vaccinated. The availability of the vaccine would surely make the risk drop down, substantially. 

The problem of this messed up plan can be seen all across the nation, in every state. People with serious diseases are shoved back further in the vaccination list. It is done mostly because they are of a younger age. In Maryland, CF patients have been listed behind people who grow cannabis. And in Pennsylvania, they have been outrageously placed behind mere smokers. Even in Michigan and Washington DC, CF patients might need to wait until the spring, or it might even extend to summer.  

The health officials have been defending the policy of vaccination list creation. According to them, due to the small patient population size, they do not have enough data or information about what occurs after the contracting of COVID-19 virus in CF or other serious patients, and thus cannot set a policy on inadequate data. 

CF patients have not gone out of home, unless necessary, since march, and this advise worked as a majority of them did not contract the disease. However, it also has resulted in the little accumulation of data required to set the vaccination policy straight. Apart from CF patients, those suffering from illnesses like asthma, liver disease, dementia, hypertension, and other serious ailments are also at a disadvantage. All of them have been pushed back below healthy people. Many have accused the government treating staying at home as an alternative of vaccines. Many elderly people have also fallen prey to COVID-19, even though several vaccines have been left unused in the state. The situation is chaotic to say the least and might turn graver if no policy is set immediately. 

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