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High risk South Carolinians hopeful as vaccine eligibility widens

Updated: Mar. 2, 2021 at 11:35 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - As Governor McMaster opened up vaccine eligibility to more South Carolinians this afternoon, many high-risk residents, who will now be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine, are breathing a sigh of relief.

32-year-old Travis Luthren has Down Syndrome and has been very careful protecting his health during the pandemic.

When it comes to the vaccine rollout Travis says, he’s been patient.

“I’ve been waiting on this for a very long time,” he said.

Travis is a social butterfly and has had to work remotely instead of with his peers at the Special Olympics Office where he’s been employed for 13 years.

“I miss the freedom, and being outside,” he said.

Travis’ mother Susan says she’s been making sure he stays safe since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Down Syndrome among conditions that can cause an increased risk for severe illness when it comes to COVID-19.

“We’ve just been very conscientious about his health because individuals with Down Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities are at a much higher risk that not many other people realize,” she said. “We’ve had to be very diligent to protect him.”

Now, as Governor McMaster widens vaccine eligibility in South Carolina, Travis and his mom will have the opportunity to get their doses, and possibly get back to normal life.

“We have been through a lot of things with COVID, so I’m just very excited that the vaccine is here,” Travis said.

Travis says he’s happy that he and his mother will finally have the opportunity to get their first dose as a team.

“Me and Momsy, we are two peas in a pod,” he said. “So, we go together.”

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