The family begged the sister with Down syndrome to be vaccinated as soon as possible.Now she is using a COVID-19 ventilator


According to her sister Olga Zouzoulas, Toula Zouzoulas, 44, a patient with Tangla syndrome, was frightened by the arrest of COVID-19 last year.

Now, Tula is on a ventilator. After testing positive, she is fighting for her life in the intensive care unit of Montfort Hospital in Ottawa.

Zuzulas said that she felt that if her sister were vaccinated, all of this could have been avoided. She thinks that Tula and other people with Down syndrome should pass earlier.

According to Ontario’s vaccine rollout plan, people with intellectual or developmental disabilities are considered high-risk groups in the second stage, but will not be eligible until May 3-it was time for Tula who contracted COVID-19 a week ago It’s too late.

Zuzolas said: “The government did not regard them as the most risky people. They failed. They failed my sister.”

“She deserves protection… and she is not.”

Tula and her elderly parents live in a COVID-19 hotspot in Ottawa. One of the elderly parents is considered a high-risk group and needs home care services. Parents, like Olga, the mother’s caregiver, are eligible for the vaccine in March. But Tula had to wait.

Watch | My sister said that many attempts to vaccinate Tula have failed:

Demetra Zouzoulas, with Down syndrome, was on a ventilator at Montfort Hospital in Ottawa after testing positive for COVID-19. Her sister Olga Zouzoulas said the family tried to vaccinate her repeatedly but was told she was not eligible. 0:59

Deny repeatedly

Considering these circumstances and the fact that Tula has Down syndrome, Zuzulas repeatedly tried to vaccinate her as soon as possible, but Ottawa Public Health (OPH) rejected every request, and the latter told her that Tula was not eligible.

In mid-April, Tula suffered from a gastric ulcer and required surgery. Complications after the operation made her stay in the hospital longer.

Then in late April, Tula tested positive for COVID-19 when she was checked in the hospital and is now in the intensive care unit on a ventilator.

Zuzulas said: “This is terrible. She shouldn’t be in this situation. She needs to be at home.”

In Ontario, people with Down syndrome are classified as high-risk groups, which allows them to be vaccinated in the second stage, but still makes the Tula wait until May. (Gene Deris/CBC)

The “increased risk of death” in patients with Down syndrome

Throughout Canada, organizations and families have launched campaigns to vaccinate patients with Down syndrome as soon as possible.

Yona Lunsky, a professor at the University of Toronto who specializes in developmental disorders and health care issues, said it’s a good thing for Ontario to prioritize people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities, even if it’s too time for some people to get vaccinated. It’s too late.

Not every province It has been done in China.

Lunsi said: “I think the challenge in the second phase is to include so many different groups.”

“Definitely, research shows that people with Down syndrome, no matter where they are [live]If they are exposed to COVID, it will be difficult for them to fight this infection and other diseases, and their risk of death is also increasing. “

Lensky said that this alone is “the best reason we take good precautions and fully support them. We will prevent them from getting sick and treat them as soon as possible.”

Lensky believes that the key is not just to make people with developmental disabilities a priority group of vaccinations, but “actually to do everything possible to get needles into people’s arms.”

“They need to be protected”

OPH said it could not comment on any special circumstances, but it was “obliged to follow” the vaccination priorities set by the province.

It said in a statement that “only in a few rare cases where provincial guidance is unclear or unidentified,” the city’s task force will provide explanations or recommendations to eligible people.

The Ontario Ministry of Health has not yet responded to CBC News’ request for comment.

Zouzoulas still wants to get the answer, if similar changes happen in the future, this change will happen again.

“People with Down syndrome, they cannot be released [in the queue] Where are they this time, they need to be protected. … She may not be important to them, but it is important to us. “



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