“If cerebral palsy is not going to take me out, I refuse to let a pandemic, or a virus do the same.”
To facilitate vaccine information for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities has launched at new website, Get Out The Vaccine.
The website offers:
- detailed information and frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and the vaccine
- Share Your Shot: short bios on those with IDD who have received the vaccination
- resources to help find a vaccine
Additionally, the website offers helpful information from trusted sources, such as the CDC, how to protect oneself and others, and what to expect after receiving the vaccine.
Not All with IDD Given Vaccine Priority
COVID-19 has affected the lives of everyone worldwide, and those with IDD face even greater health risks.
While vaccine eligibility for developmental disabilities is determined by priority lists, many with IDD – such as attention-deficit disorder, seizures, hearing loss and other disabilities – have not been given priority.
Four medical professionals wrote in The Lancet that this ambiguous vaccination criteria is a result of historical lack of attention to the IDD population.
“Specifically, national population health data for individuals with IDD is incomplete and strategies to improve vaccination rates in individuals with IDD are under-explored.”
Although the CDC cites that those with disabilities are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, the only IDD condition it lists on its website is Down syndrome. As new research is done, supported by scientific facts, other conditions will be added to the list.
COVID Impact on the IDD Community
For many with disabilities, COVID is making it much more difficult to receive the care they need.
Because many rely on others to assist them with daily tasks, risk of exposure to and from health care aides is a serious concern – and that has changed their access to the community they rely on.
While scant research has been done on COVID-19 and those with IDD, it’s an accepted fact that the population is susceptible to significant increases of COVID-related hospitalizations and death. A study encompassing 547 health care organizations in the United States found that those with IDD face an extremely greater risk of dying from COVID-19.
- in New York, the risk of death was a huge eight times higher for those with IDD and COVID than the general population
- those with IDD were more susceptible to infection and death – especially at younger ages
Best Defense Against COVID-19: Vaccination
Medical experts agree that the best defense against COVID-19 is vaccination. Moreover, vaccination is key so that every single person can get back to living their lives as fully as possible and to begin interacting with their community again.
According to President Joe Biden, all Americans will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines by May 1, with some states expanding eligibility before that.
Advocates assert that there is a great deal more to be done to ensure that people with IDD are given the resources they need about COVID-19.
A big step towards this is Get Out The Vaccine website. Log on today and get the information you need to make an informed decision about vaccination.
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