LAS VEGAS — Katie Kremer has been waiting for a long time to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Forever," she said.
Kremer was born with down syndrome, which puts her at a higher risk of having a severe case of COVID-19. At 38 years old, she's now one of about 600,000 Nevadans eligible for the vaccine. Deborah Avery is a parent with the Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada. She said because of their weakened immune systems, people with down syndrome often have cases comparable to people in their 80s or 90s.
"For children with Down syndrome, they are four times more likely to be hospitalized and ten times more likely to die from it."
Nevada's COVID-19 playbook lists other eligible conditions including several chronic diseases and diabetes.
Dr. Evelyn Montalvo Stanton is the chair of pediatrics at UNLV School of Medicine and a member of the Clark County Medical Society. She said many of the people who are now eligible for the vaccine should make sure to consult with their specialist before getting it.
"There's no reason for them not to get the vaccine but we basically tell them what to do, whether there are medications that they use for their disease - either they may have to hold it, get the vaccine, wait a week and then resume their medications but that is something they need to discuss with their specialist.`," she said.
On April 5, all Nevadans 16 years and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.