Local mom says medically fragile kids’ parents should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

"In a lot of circumstances, these children that are medically fragile are more at risk than some of those that are 65 and older"

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio’s Phase 1B vaccine distribution continues this week. While the first and second phases focus on Ohio’s most vulnerable populations, a woman in Warren says she feels like her family has been forgotten.

Danella Monsman doesn’t fall under any of the categories currently eligible for the vaccine, but she believes that should change.

Her daughter, Krista, has spinal muscular atrophy. It’s a disease that causes progressive muscle loss and makes her immunocompromised.

“I feel like they dropped the ball somewhere because there just hasn’t been any word on parents or guardians that have medically fragile children where we fall in line,” Monsman said.

Krista is at risk for complications if she were to get COVID-19, but she is too young to get the vaccine. Her parents have to work and leave the house, so they feel they should be able to get vaccinated.

“Unfortunately, in a lot of circumstances, these children that are medically fragile are more at risk than some of those that are 65 and older,” Monsman said.

At least three states — Oregon, Tennessee and South Carolina — have included parents of medically fragile children in early vaccine distribution.

Ohio has not, and it’s something Governor Mike DeWine addressed last month.

“Every time we get to come in and they say, ‘Why can’t we go forward?’ And they make a very good case. The challenge is we’re not making that in a vacuum. It’s not yes or no, it’s yes, if we do you, somebody else is going to get shoved back or another group is going to get shoved back,” DeWine said.

Monsman thinks those already in Phase 1A and 1B are appropriate. She just feels that parents like her should also be included.

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