Responding to advocacy by ANCOR and other disability advocates, nine members of Congress led by U.S. Representatives Kathleen Rice (D-NY) and John Katko (R-NY) wrote a letter urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to further pressure states to prioritize people with intellectual / developmental disabilities (I/DD) for access to the vaccine. The additional members of Congress who joined the letter are:
- U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
- U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes (D-CT)
- U.S. Representative Diana Harshbarger (R-TN)
- U.S. Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN)
- U.S. Representative Tom Suozzi (D-NY)
- U.S. Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH)
- U.S. Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ)
As mentioned previously, while the CDC has recently taken the important step of encouraging states to expand vaccine access to people with disabilities, doing so remains at the discretion of governors. Furthermore, the actual wording of the CDC guidance leaves a lot of uncertainty as to which populations are included in the updated recommendation. ANCOR appreciates the efforts of these legislators and encourages our members to amplify our social media posts thanking them for signing onto this letter.
Related read – good news on vaccine front, even as more contagious variants emerge. As reported by Axios, although variants are spreading fast, our technology can keep pace on delivering boosters, experts say. As such, we can expect boosters to become a regular part of our lives for years to come, but these boosters should enable people to maintain immunity in the longer term.