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Winnebago mom starts petition to prioritize vaccinations for people with underlying health conditions

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 8:53 PM CST
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WINNEBAGO, Ill. (WIFR) - A Winnebago mom starts a petition to advocate for her son and thousands of people in the state of Illinois who have underlying health conditions to receive COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.

“This is someone who actually needs to get it per every doctor and specialist that he has, they said absolutely he’s got to get the vaccine,” Petition creator Jodi Murray said.

Jodi’s son Andrew was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at a young age, the disease impacts his muscular system and his lungs.

“I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was roughly two years old,” Andrew Murray said.

The disease puts Andrew in a high-risk category if he contracts COVID-19, and his family does not want to take any risks.

“We ourselves also have to be extra careful because we can bring it home to him which is another reason why we are just trying to get this vaccine as soon as possible.” Jodi Murray said.

Jodi and Andrew believed they would fall into phase 1B of the vaccine distribution plan, but they say Andrew is in 1C, which places state prison inmates in front of Andrew in the long line of people waiting.

“The ACIP committee at the CDC recommended that we vaccinate prisoners at the same time we vaccinate corrections officers,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said.

Jodi and Andrew say they believe prison inmates should get vaccinated, but when is what sparked the start of a petition.

“My problem is with the healthy prisoners who would be able to fight it off if they were to get the disease we don’t know if he would be able to,” Jodi Murray said.

Jodi writes to Governor Pritzker every week and says she will continue to write him in hopes her son will receive the vaccine.

“It’s always just the what if, like the little 2 or 3% that can’t fight it off,” Andrew Murray said. “It’s just scary thinking about it that I can possibly be in that what if.”

Jodi says she has not received a response to her letters from Pritzker or anyone from the state but hopes something will change in the future.

To sign the petition started by Jodi and Andrew Murray click here.

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