Ebene News – United States – Massachusetts Adds Asthma to Coronavirus Vaccine Eligibility List

Those with moderate to severe asthma will be eligible for coronavirus vaccines as part of phase 2 of state rollout after advocates implore government Charlie Baker to add the disease respiratory list

The new prioritization comes more than a week after the Herald reported that asthma was dropped from the list of medical conditions that qualify people for vaccines at various stages of Phase 2

Baker told a press conference last week that the inclusion of asthma was ‘not in line’ with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine guidelines But, in the face of increasing pressure from lawmakers and advocates, he said: “This is something we are definitely talking about”

His administration added moderate-to-severe asthma to the list on Wednesday, a day before residents aged 65 and over and those with two or more health conditions became eligible for vaccines

“The main reason we did this with asthma and we sort of stepped away from the CDC guidelines is that it really is about environmental and economic justice,” Baker said in a statement. press conference at the State House on Wednesday

“There are tons of studies that have been done that show that at-risk communities and communities of color have historically had higher rates of asthma – childhood asthma, adult asthma – and that’s a big deal. part related to the decisions that were made years ago regarding the way people chose to build neighborhoods and communities ”, he continued“ It is a legitimate problem and we consider it as much as a problem of equity as a medical problem “

Massachusetts based its initial list of eligible comorbidities strictly on the CDC’s list of “certain medical conditions” that put adults at increased risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19

The list includes cancer, obesity and even smoking But the CDC has classified moderate to severe asthma as a condition that “could” only put people at an increased risk of serious disease, leading to its exclusion initial in Massachusetts, even though asthmatics in neighboring New York became eligible for vaccines

Community activists, state lawmakers and even US Representative Ayanna Pressley joined the chorus calling on Baker to add asthma to the list, citing problems with access to vaccines in low-income communities and largely minority hard hit by the pandemic who have long shown high asthma rates This includes Chelsea and Springfield, which was named the asthma capital of the country in 2019 by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

State Representatives Mindy Domb, D-Amherst, and Carlos Gonzalez, D-Springfield, led a bipartisan group of 52 lawmakers in sending a letter to Baker late last week urging him to act against the asthma Domb said on Wednesday its inclusion was a first step towards vaccine equity in black and brown communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic

“I hope the administration uses a medical and equity lens to look at other diseases and conditions that have been left out,” she said

Advocates call on the Baker administration to expand eligible medical conditions to include more people with disabilities and type 1 diabetes instead of just type 2

“I really want people to understand that this asthma problem needs to be treated now,” said Baker “If we get advice and guidance from other members of the medical community on other matters, we will certainly take this into consideration “

Vaccine, Massachusetts, Charlie Baker

Ebene News – United States – Massachusetts adds asthma to coronavirus vaccine eligibility list

Source: https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/17/massachusetts-to-add-asthma-to-vaccine-eligibility-list/