Cancer patient reacts to Sedgwick County moving forward in vaccination rollout, encourages others to get vaccine

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 10:58 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Thousands more people in Sedgwick County, many with serious medical conditions, can now get their COVID-19 vaccines. This includes people between ages 16 and 64 with medical risks.

Michael Dionisi is part of the group in Phase 3 of the state’s vaccine rollout plan. He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in May of 2020.

“Everything that happened to me since last May has been trying to kill that cancer and do what we could to prevent it from coming back.” Said Dionisi.

He said it has been hard for him and his family. Diagnosed with cancer as the pandemic began, then as vaccines began to roll out, Dionisi and many cancer patients like him had to wait as others received it.

“It’s been very frustrating and a concern for many people like myself with cancer,” said Dionsi. “We call those vulnerable health conditions, vulnerable to the virus, and everyone is wondering, what is our state government doing. You know it’s tough choices.”'

Dionisi said the county’s decision to move forward and start vaccinating people in Phases 3 and 4 means a lot to people like him with underlying health conditions.

Sedgwick County Manager Tom Stolz said they have been waiting to be able to serve people with these conditions.

“We are really trying for those with serious cancers and chronic kidney diseases,” said Stolz. " That clientele we have been very anxious to serve for the last several weeks. We want to make sure they have options and receive a vaccination.”

Dionisi said he was able to get his shot early, and now he wants to motivate others to also get vaccinated.

“This solves a lot of issues for a lot of us with those conditions, so I really encourage you.” Said Dionisi.

Sedgwick County said you do not have to provide proof of an underlying health condition. If you show up, you’ll get a shot.

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