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Family and caretakers of Hoosiers with down syndrome push to be on vaccine list

Down Syndrome Indiana urge health officials
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Posted at 9:07 AM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 09:07:06-05

INDIANAPOLIS — WRTV is tracking who's next in line to get their COVID-19 vaccine, and the newsroom learned Hoosiers with down syndrome will soon be able to get their shot. Now, their family members and caretakers are pushing to be on that list too.

Natalie Palin and Sherry Thomas are both mothers with sons who have down syndrome. Both of them say their lives have changed drastically over the last year, hardly leaving their house to make sure the virus doesn’t affect their family.

“We’ve taken quarantine very seriously,” said Palin, her son Jackson is 6.

“None of us want to get sick and you don't know how sick you're going to be is it going to be you don't feel good for two weeks and you're done or is it much more significant than that,” said Thomas, her son Cooper is 31.

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Cooper playing baseball
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Palin’s son can’t get vaccinated because he’s not old enough. So, Palin and Down Syndrome Indiana are urging health officials to open the vaccine up to family members and care takes of those with down syndrome.

“We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to protect our child and that would just be another layer of protection that we can feel more comfortable in my husband's been here item bringing home covid from work,” said Palin.

As for Thomas, her son can get vaccinated once it opens up to him, but she said if her household and his community center had that extra layer of protection it would be huge for Cooper and a weight lifted off her shoulders.

“You don't want him to be sick you don't want him to be in the hospital because him in the hospital without me I can't even imagine what that would be like and so in of course is the worst thing that could happen I can't imagine life about cooper I can't imagine his life without me,” said Thomas.

WRTV reached out to the health department via email Monday morning to see what their thoughts are on this and if it is a possibility. We have not heard back from them yet and will update this story once we receive a response.