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Dear Provincial Health Minister,
As you undertake the task of determining priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination, we ask that you help the people in your province living with cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. It impacts many parts of the body, in particular, the lungs and digestive system and results in serious complications including progressive lung damage, persistent lung infections and diabetes to name a few.
SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus and the long-term consequences post-infection are unknown. There is for example emerging evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infections may cause heart damage in some patients. Given the heavy health burden that Canadians with cystic fibrosis and their caregivers already carry, we believe it necessary to shelter them from any additional risks caused by a SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that they should be prioritized for vaccination. Vulnerable groups with pre-existing conditions like those living with cystic fibrosis deserve early protection.
Thank you for your consideration. We would greatly appreciate if you could confirm when people impacted by cystic fibrosis can expect to receive their vaccination for COVID-19.
Dr. John Wallenburg
Chief Scientific Officer