Woman battling cancer fears COVID vaccine rollout will impact residents with underlying conditions
"It's kind of like being in an airplane as an asthmatic and the plane loses oxygen and everyone gets an oxygen mask, except for you, and you're the one who needs it the most," Sarah Bianchi says, feeling defeated after the news she's no longer up next to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the state will continue vaccinating residents by age. This means that people with underlying medical conditions like 47-year-old Bianchi will have to wait even longer.
"My not being able to get the vaccine, can prevent me from living a longer life," Bianchi says.
Bianchi was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2017, which then spread to her bones. In 2019, she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Since then, she's undergone numerous treatments and surgeries. This week alone, she has five doctor's appointments.
"Now, I am on an oral chemotherapy and injections that I have to go into the hospital for, and if I get sick with COVID, I can't go into the hospital for those injections," Bianchi explains.
"Most people over the age of 55 do have a chronic condition and many of the chronic conditions are on the CDC list are concentrated in over-age groups, so we're catching the majority," says acting Commissioner of Department of Public Health Deidre Gifford.
But Bianchi is not part of that majority.
"It's not calculated," Bianchi says.
Bianchi lives alone and has kept her cancer battle private but adds that she wanted to do an interview with News 12 in the hope her message would change Lamont's mind.
"Not just for cancer patients, but for MS, cystic fibrosis, for all of these really tough illnesses that I'm not knowledgeable enough to talk about, but I'm asking that people go out and advocate for all of us," Bianchi says.