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I should get it. And Im going to: Whos newly eligible for COVID-19 shots in California – KCRA Sacramento

People with certain health conditions or disabilities are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine even if they don’t meet age or essential worker requirements.Michelle Ratliff qualifies to get the shot based on her underlying conditions and complicated medical history.In and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices with systemic lupus her entire adult life, Ratliff has endured lung disease that requires her to be on oxygen almost 24/7 and kidney failure that requires dialysis three times a week.Ratliff and her caretaker mother, Kathy Jarvis, are living with the daily fears Ratliff’s compromised immunity brings about.”It’s really scary, but — at all times with lupus, it’s always scary,” said Ratliff. “Anything can essentially take my life.””With her disease it’s: she’s fine and then all of the sudden, she’s not fine,” said Jarvis. “It’s been a hard fight for her.”According to doctors, Ratliff falls into the category of people with underlying health conditions — at high risk of serious complications if she catches COVID-19.”Anything that she does outside in the community, unvaccinated, puts her at risk,” said one of Ratliff’s doctors, pulmonary and critical care physician, Vanessa Walker.At 39 years old, Ratliff wasn’t eligible for the vaccine and didn’t know if she’d feel right about getting it, until now.”I’m young and maybe there’s someone else that deserves it more than me,” explained Ratliff. “But in talking to Dr. Walker, she told me that I’m very well deserving of it. And I should get it. And I’m going to.”Starting Monday, the California Department of Public Health widened vaccine eligibility requirements to include people with certain health conditions or disabilities. Even if they’re not 65-plus or essential workers. The list of conditions includes, but is not limited to:CancerChronic kidney disease, pulmonary diseaseDown syndromeOrgan transplantPregnancySickle cell diseaseHeart conditionsObesityType 2 diabetes”I think it’s actually very good to get these people who are really, really at risk of getting severe COVID or hospitalized and even dying,” said Walker. “Let’s get them vaccinated.”As noted above, those pregnant are now also in that category.”Initially we weren’t sure if I would be offered a chance while I was still pregnant,” expectant mom Alyze Bellucci.Bellucci, with her third child due in five weeks, decided to get vaccinated.”We are also encouraged to get a flu shot when pregnant, a Tdap shot when we’re pregnant,” said Bellucci. “I kind of saw this along the same lines. Whatever is best for baby ultimately, and me, because my health is her health right now.”Walker said Ratliff and Bellucci could experience far worse outcomes from the actual virus if they were to catch it rather than having adverse reactions to the vaccine.For that reason, both women told KCRA 3 they’re confident in their choice to get the shot now that they’re eligible.”I do feel better,” said Ratliff.Bellucci adding, “It is this historic time that we’ll look back on and kinda think, ‘wow, you were born during all of that.'”KCRA 3 has learned that because of health privacy, those seeking a vaccination with health conditions or disabilities will not need to show proof of a health condition, but they will need to self-attest that they meet the high-risk criteria.

People with certain health conditions or disabilities are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine even if they don’t meet age or essential worker requirements.

Michelle Ratliff qualifies to get the shot based on her underlying conditions and complicated medical history.

In and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices with systemic lupus her entire adult life, Ratliff has endured lung disease that requires her to be on oxygen almost 24/7 and kidney failure that requires dialysis three times a week.

Ratliff and her caretaker mother, Kathy Jarvis, are living with the daily fears Ratliff’s compromised immunity brings about.

“It’s really scary, but — at all times with lupus, it’s always scary,” said Ratliff. “Anything can essentially take my life.”

“With her disease it’s: she’s fine and then all of the sudden, she’s not fine,” said Jarvis. “It’s been a hard fight for her.”

According to doctors, Ratliff falls into the category of people with underlying health conditions — at high risk of serious complications if she catches COVID-19.

“Anything that she does outside in the community, unvaccinated, puts her at risk,” said one of Ratliff’s doctors, pulmonary and critical care physician, Vanessa Walker.

At 39 years old, Ratliff wasn’t eligible for the vaccine and didn’t know if she’d feel right about getting it, until now.

“I’m young and maybe there’s someone else that deserves it more than me,” explained Ratliff. “But in talking to Dr. Walker, she told me that I’m very well deserving of it. And I should get it. And I’m going to.”

Starting Monday, the California Department of Public Health widened vaccine eligibility requirements to include people with certain health conditions or disabilities. Even if they’re not 65-plus or essential workers. The list of conditions includes, but is not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease, pulmonary disease
  • Down syndrome
  • Organ transplant
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Heart conditions
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes

“I think it’s actually very good to get these people who are really, really at risk of getting severe COVID or hospitalized and even dying,” said Walker. “Let’s get them vaccinated.”

As noted above, those pregnant are now also in that category.

“Initially we weren’t sure if I would be offered a chance while I was still pregnant,” expectant mom Alyze Bellucci.

Bellucci, with her third child due in five weeks, decided to get vaccinated.

“We are also encouraged to get a flu shot when pregnant, a Tdap shot when we’re pregnant,” said Bellucci. “I kind of saw this along the same lines. Whatever is best for baby ultimately, and me, because my health is her health right now.”

Walker said Ratliff and Bellucci could experience far worse outcomes from the actual virus if they were to catch it rather than having adverse reactions to the vaccine.

For that reason, both women told KCRA 3 they’re confident in their choice to get the shot now that they’re eligible.

“I do feel better,” said Ratliff.

Bellucci adding, “It is this historic time that we’ll look back on and kinda think, ‘wow, you were born during all of that.'”

KCRA 3 has learned that because of health privacy, those seeking a vaccination with health conditions or disabilities will not need to show proof of a health condition, but they will need to self-attest that they meet the high-risk criteria.

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