The Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus continues to spread across the country and United States officially reached the 900,000 Covid-19 related deaths earlier this week. The vaccines still remain the best weapon in battling the deadly virus providing decent protection from developing severe condition and death.
According to New York Times, 75% of the US population is vaccinated with at least one dose, while 64% are considered fully vaccinated with two doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or single J&J vaccine dose. Of those eligible, around 42% decided to get third, booster dose of the vaccines, the highest level of protection against the virus especially the Omicron variant.
While the vaccination process is slowly but surely reaching decent rates, some people are having hard times to get vaccinated. One of them is the 45-year-old N. Regnier, who recently died of Covid-19 complications after struggling to get the vaccine because she was allegedly told she is not eligible to get the shot, her family said.
According to ABC 7, Regnier was told by Kaiser Permanente she was not eligible for vaccine in February last year because she was placed on a new regimen of medication to manage her multiple sclerosis which suppressed her immune system. When she asked about getting one of the Covid-19 vaccines, her doctor claimed that Regnier could not have it because it contained a “live virus” – which is false.
When she contracted the virus in December last year, Regnier and her family asked the same healthcare provider to treat her with monoclonal antibody treatment and hopefully prevent her condition worsening. However, the healthcare provider allegedly refused to treat her again, Regnier’s family added.
Regnier died due to Covid-19 complications mid-December. She left her husband and her three children aged 14, 16 and 29 behind. Following the unfortunate series of events, the family decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the healthcare provider few days ago.
According to the attorney who acts on behalf of the family, Regnier asked to be vaccinated against Covid-19 over the next six months after she was denied for first time, but was told she could not receive a “live” vaccine every single time she went to get one. In August, Regnier finally emailed her neurologist and asked him about the vaccines. He told her she needed to get vaccinated.
“Two days later she runs over to Kaiser to get the Covid vaccine and she’s feeling symptoms so they test her and she’s got Covid,” the attorney said. She was admitted to the hospital for treatment where she was given antibiotics and steroids to boost her immunity. However, none of the drugs used in her treatment are recommended in treating Covid-19, the attorney added.
When Regnier’s husband realized his wife’s condition was not improving, he asked for monoclonal antibody treatment, but the hospital refused to treat her with that treatment. That’s the moment when he decided to discharge his wife from the Kaiser hospital and move her to other one, but they were told it was already too late for monoclonal antibody treatment as soon as they arrived there. Reginer was taken back to Kaiser where she later died.
“If you’re told you shouldn’t get the vaccine because it’s a live vaccine that’s just flat-out wrong. And everybody whose immune system is down needs to get the vaccine. That’s why we’re doing this. We don’t want this poor woman’s life to be taken in vain,” the attorney said.
In part of the official statement, the hospital said they are ‘dedicated to ensuring every individual treated at Kaiser Permanente receives the highest quality health care appropriate for their situation.’ However, they didn’t comment specific cases including the Regnier’s case.