Recommendations to Prioritize COVID Vaccine for the I/DD Community
December 21, 2020
Updated: December 30, 2020
After much anticipation, the State of New Jersey, along with the rest of the nation, began distributing and administering the first doses of the recently FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Plans have been underway at the federal and state levels for the distribution of the vaccine for some time.
Prioritization, allocation, and distribution of this initially limited supply falls to our state public health officials at the Department of Health (DOH), with general recommendations coming from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Doing so is no small task. We commend the Department’s steadfast leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and its commitment to ensuring fast and equitable distribution of a vaccine to all New Jersey communities. Considerable, thoughtful analysis has gone into the categorization of critical populations to receive the initial limited doses. While the details of the dissemination plans continue to evolve, personnel and individuals with I/DD living in congregate care settings such as group homes are included in Group 1A.
Autism New Jersey’s Recommendations
Given our community’s unique needs and risks, Autism New Jersey has been in communication with the Department to ensure that our needs are at the forefront of their minds. More specifically, we are requesting:
The approval and distribution of the vaccine are important milestones that offer hope for all who have been significantly affected by COVID-19. Ensuring the critical needs of individuals with autism are considered — during this process and in all decisions made by state officials that impact our community — remains our priority.
Updates and Additional Info:
1/5/2021: Online pre-registration is now open on the vaccine portal for state residents who may not yet be a member of one of the priority groups. The site may be experiencing high volume and intermittent outages during its initial launch.
The @NJDeptofHealth continues to roll out its vaccination plans, with Phase 1A health care workers including DSPs in Developmental Centers and IDD group homes, day programs, and Self-Directed Employees in private homes now eligible. Visit https://t.co/K5jnrX4Tpc. https://t.co/iABIR5V47n
— Autism New Jersey (@AutismNJ) December 30, 2020
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