Capitol Correspondence - 04.26.21

CDC Responds to Congressional Letter on Prioritizing COVID-19 Vaccine Access for People with Disabilities

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ANCOR members engaged in significant advocacy during the month of March. In that time, nine U.S. Representatives, led by Kathleen Rice (D-NY) and John Katko (R-NY), responded to ANCOR advocates’ request for help in getting people with disabilities prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination by writing a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC responded to that letter, stating:

“We have provided guidance for caring for people with developmental disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic on our website, including the direct service providers who assist them. Based on the most current scientific understanding, most people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are not naturally at higher risk for becoming infected or having severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. The rest stratification of medical conditions may be updated at any time as the science evolves, and individuals with any underlying medical condition should consult with their healthcare providers regarding vaccination and other treatment. As state in your letter people with intellectual and developmental disabilities may live in group homes and CDC has also provided guidance for these facilities during the pandemic.”

The letter further elaborates on the constraints the CDC faced while the supply of vaccines was limited and concludes by deferring to state plans.