Vaccine priority response

To the Editor;

I read with interest the BDN editorial board’s viewpoint regarding vaccine priority for those at-risk people regardless of age. Sadly this group, although initially included in the state’s plan, has been grouped with everyone else.

I personally tried every possibility to acquire a vaccine for my 21-year-old granddaughter battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma awaiting stem cell transplant. I failed initially, but news exposure brought light to the dilemma, and she received an unused end-of-day vaccine.

Usually people with preexisting conditions or health problems that result in immuno compromise are followed by a health care practitioner. These health care practices should be the groups that reach out to these individuals and help them secure appointments and vaccines.

The governor and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services didn’t seem to think it would be easy to verify these people were truly in need of the vaccine due to health conditions, so they didn’t prioritize them. Interestingly, the U.S. CDC recommended high-risk groups receive vaccines during the 1C phase, but states could use their own rules. Maine made its own rules.

Miracles happen, as we can see with vaccine discovery and distribution. Thankfully Northern Light and some of our other large hospital networks had the vision and ability to create an efficient vaccine process that can reach thousands. Hopefully they can continue their success and finish off this last, large adult group.

Dr. James Jarvis has to be our man of the year!

Kathryn Merrithew


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