CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- Adults who are at high risk for severe disease were set to be in the next phase to get the COVID-19 vaccine. That is, until North Carolina adjusted its priority list and that group got pushed back.
One local mother battling metastatic breast cancer says she feels forgotten by the government.
“We live on borrowed time,” Adiba Barney said.
Barney, who lives in Cornelius, says every moment with her two-year-old son is priceless.
“Every single minute, second, hour I get with him is so precious,” said Barney.
The 43-year-old is living with stage four breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. She fights every day for more time with her family.
“We make sure to do a lot of and create a lot of memories with our loved ones,” she said.
She’s undergone numerous surgeries and daily chemo treatments over the last six years. Barney takes 20 pills a day just to stay alive and function.
“I do labs. I do scans. I have a bunch of specialists that I have to see all the time.”
On top of that, she lives in fear of contracting COVID-19. Her frequent hospital visits put her at further risk.
“If we do get infected, even if it’s mild, we can’t do our cancer treatment. We have to get off it,” she said.
And during that time, her cancer could grow. Barney says when the state began distributing the vaccine, she was overjoyed.
“We’re so happy. Finally, we can breathe again and then boom, no you’re not a priority.”
Barney was originally part of phase two, group two. But when the state adjusted its plan to vaccinate people 65 and older, she and others like her, got bumped to group four.
“We feel betrayed,” Barney said. “We have the same risk of getting severely ill and dying from this as really old people, at the same time we’re not in the same category for the vaccine.”
Barney, along with members of her breast cancer support group, want to be included in phase two. They say Governor Roy Cooper’s office has been unresponsive. We brought their concerns to the Department of Health and Human Services, but they were unavailable for comment.