Gov. Mills’ announcement that Maine will adopt a vaccination policy based solely on age fails to factor in the health consequences of life in the pandemic for those of us Mainers with underlying conditions – consequences that have nothing and everything to do with coronavirus.

My risk for dying of coronavirus is statistically better than that of someone over 60, but I have to wonder: How much has my health suffered in the past year? I don’t know, because when I last had a set of labs run in April 2020, the lab crowded me into a waiting room with unmasked patients and a receptionist who wouldn’t cover her nose. I won’t be going back without a vaccine.

Today I’ve been invited to wait another three to four months before I can safely access the health care and medical testing I regularly need. Despite Dr. Nirav Shah’s urging that people continue to seek medical treatment during the pandemic, being indoors, in close contact with others, is the riskiest situation I could put myself in.

Some of us have been waiting a year not to see our friends and family, but to see our doctors. I have no intention of being the last man shot before peace is declared, and it’s disappointing that this decision has once again put the vulnerable and disabled in our community last.

Mary Duffy
Cape Elizabeth


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