Immunocompromised Kansans encouraged to get COVID vaccine

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – Well worth the wait, a frontline worker who is battling her own health issues said getting the COVID-19 vaccine was the right thing to do.

Janet Becic has been a caregiver through the pandemic and she is also immunocompromised. However, she’s not alone. One local doctor says about 20% of Wichita is immunocompromised.

“My primary is Sjögren’s Syndrome, and I was diagnosed with that at 26,” Becic said.

Becic said her condition attacks her lymph nodes and has damaged her lungs.

“Then at the age of 40, I was then diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and last march Raynaud’s syndrome,” she added.

Becic is a healthcare worker. When she was given the option to take the vaccine, she was nervous. “It was scary. I’ll admit I did have the anxiety about how my body was going to react,” she said.

“People are afraid that they are either going to be prone to developing complications from the vaccination on the basis of their disease and compromised immune system,” Dr. Timothy Shaver, a rheumatologist who practices in Wichita said.

Dr. Shaver recommends those who are immune compromised to get vaccinated.

“Patients could have problems that are not born out with other vaccinations and the concern I’m worried about is the reality we are dealing with, which is if they get the infection and their immune system is compromised, they are going to be at risk for adverse outcomes,” said Dr. Shaver.

Becic said she did experience a slight reaction to the vaccine, but is relieved she got it.

“The risk of me maybe having a mild reaction to it far outweighs the risk of what would happen to me if I were to get COVID,” said Becic.

Becic got the vaccine because she is a healthcare worker. Those with underlying conditions will be able to get the COVID vaccine when the state goes to phase 3. The current status is Phase 2.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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