Edinburg family relieved over state expanding vaccine eligibility to adults with down syndrome

Local News

EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — Texas’s Tier 1 B list — a group currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine — recently expanded to include people with down syndrome. For the Escobedo family, this signifies a slow return to normal life.  

“Celinda, do you want to get the vaccine?,” Belinda Escobedo asked her daughter.  

“Mmhmm,” Celinda replied. 

Belina Escobedo, 21, was born with down syndrome and a congenital heart defect, but that hasn’t kept her from finding things she loves. 

“She takes dance, ballet and hip hop and salsa,” her mother said.  

Since the pandemic, school and these activities have moved virtually and the Escobedo family has taken extreme precautions by limiting their outings.  

“It’s been scary especially because of her heart condition and the fact if any one of us were to get ill we’d be by ourselves in the hospital,” Belinda said. “No one could be with us. That has kept us mostly sheltered at home.”  

Belinda says it’s been isolating and a challenge getting used to this new way of life but is thankful they’ve been able to keep up with friends through technology.  

“We have had zoom performances and practices and that has been great,” she said. “It’s given normalcy to these times.”  

And with the state adding down syndrome to its list of chronic medical conditions, they are excited for their lives to go back to how they were.  

“It will be some sort of relief that she’ll at least be protected and can resume some normal activities,” Belinda said. “We’re just hoping that many of her friends also get vaccinated and maybe we can start getting together again.”  

Belinda shares she was able to book an appointment with UT-Health RGV for Belinda to be vaccinated next week and adds they will continue taking precautions, as Celinda is the only household member so far eligible for the vaccine. 

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