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To Get Vaccination or Not?

To get the vaccine or not to , that’s the question many families have been discussing since three pharmaceutical giants unveiled their COVID vaccinations months ago.

However, it isn’t a conceivable choice for some with preexisting health issues that could cause serious harm.

Mary Ferrenberg and Edith Weible both want to get their shots  but their doctors advised them not to because of serious health risks.

“I cannot get the vaccine and I do not know what to do,” Ferrenberg said.

While most people have decided whether or not to get a COVID vaccination based on personal philosophies, Mary Ferrenberg has a much different reason for not getting the vaccine – preexisting health conditions that her doctor says could spark something worse.

“Yes, for fear because I go into anaphylactic shock and he (her doctor) doesn’t know how that will affect me,” she said. “It could kill me, you know, or I might not come out of it, I could be in the hospital for weeks or months.”

She doesn’t want to cause additional problems for herself or her loved ones she just wants answers.

“I want to live, I want to be able to be with my family,” she said. “My mother, being 92, and not vaccinated also because of underlying conditions, I don’t want to have…anything carried over to her from me also being around her.”

Mary and her 92-year-old mother, Edith Weible, are both retired health professionals, and Edith says they’ve followed protocols to a tee.

“We have always followed as much of the medical protectionshand creams (sanitizers), things like protect ourselves,” Weible said. “We have no symptoms of any kind to hand on to each other, and being that we’re all medical field, you know, history…we have really known how to do that comfortably.”

While vaccination has proved largely effective and safe for those without preexisting conditions, it’s a lot different in Edith’s shoes.

“There are so many complications where one thing affects the other, and there isn’t much they can do right now to promise any future for me, so it’s more or less just protecting me the best I can,” she said.

She says even the smallest error in finding a method of mitigation could be devastating.

“I think, like say ‘well, I’ll go ahead and take a chance,’ all I need is that one symptom to show up, and that’s my life, I’ll be done.”

In response to our inquiry the Department of Health released the following statement, saying “the medical conditions of every individual are unique and that is why it is so important for people to work directly with their health care provider or primary care physician (doctor) to determine what is the best way to address their health concerns.

We also recommend people follow CDC guidance.”

And UPMC offered a potential answer in their statement to us, saying “Regeneron’s Monoclonal Antibody treatment can be given to patients who have been exposed to the virus and are at risk or serious complications if they develop COVID-19. UPMC offers this treatment to eligible patients, which include those who are unvaccinated and at risk for serious illness.”

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