AUGUSTA, Ga. The last year has been tough for so many, especially those with disabilities. People who have Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy or other disabilities have had to get used to COVID-19 guidelines just like everyone else.
Dr. Karen Carter, a developmental pediatrician, says some of her patients have adapted to wearing masks. But, it has been tough for others.
“They feel claustrophobic,” she explains. “We’ve even had some where the mask has irritated their skin, and they’ve broken out in a rash, especially if they drool because it holds the drool right on their face.”
It could not be more important to protect people in this population. They are at a higher risk of getting infected with and dying from COVID-19.
“Many of them don’t just have learning problems. They have asthma. Sometimes, they have gastrostomy tubes, which is how they’re fed. There are all kinds of health conditions they can have. It’s important of them to avoid coronavirus and be healthy.”
Beginning March 8, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be vaccinated in Georgia. In South Carolina, people with developmental disabilities will be eligible. Caregivers will be eligible in both states.
Carter her patients and their families are very hopeful for this next phase.
“They’re very vulnerable. It’s going to be highly beneficial for them to get the vaccine.”