Capitol Correspondence - 02.23.21

ANCOR Sends CDC Letter Advocating Pennsylvania Framework Be Used as Inspiration for I/DD COVID-19 Vaccinations

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ANCOR joined 14 other organizations in a coalition letter urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to take inspiration from Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 vaccination framework to ensure people with intellectual / developmental disabilities (I/DD) are given proper access. People with I/DD are more likely to die if they contract COVID-19 than their peers without disabilities. As written in the letter:

“[We] believe that at-risk individuals with IDD must be prioritized explicitly along with other high-risk diagnoses.

Currently, there is significant variability in how individuals with IDD are prioritized in vaccine allocation frameworks. We ask that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide a centralized framework for vaccine allocation with clear guidelines regarding risk that includes adults with IDD. After frontline healthcare workers (including DSPs), individuals should be prioritized for vaccination based on risk of severe complication or death from COVID-19 rather than solely on occupation or location of residence in order to protect the most vulnerable, including those with IDD.

The framework from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides an example of prioritization largely based on risk of death and explicitly includes Down syndrome as a high-risk condition.10 We are encouraged by the CDC’s classifying Down syndrome as a high-risk condition and suggest that this type of framework be used, although should include all IDD diagnoses in a high risk category. Specifically, we recommend that all at-risk adults with IDD be prioritized in phase 1B of the CDC vaccine phased allocation.”