Lawmakers: Move people with intellectual, developmental disabilities into Phase 2

Eighty-four state lawmakers asked Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday to amend the state’s vaccine timeline to include people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers in the ongoing second phase of vaccine eligibility.

That population is not among the groups prioritized for earlier eligibility in the vaccine plan.

“The COVID-19 pandemic severely and devastatingly impacted people with I/DD. Over the last year, medical professionals have confirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted people living with disabilities,” reads the letter, which was led by Rep. Christine Barber, Sen. Joan Lovely, and Reps. James O’Day, Sean Garballey and Mindy Domb. “Research shows that I/DD, Autism, Down syndrome, Neurological conditions, and Acquired Brain Injury all increase an individual’s risk of serious complications and death from COVID-19. In addition, many people with disabilities have experienced difficulty engaging in preventative health measures and disruptions to health services they normally rely on as a result of the pandemic.”

The legislators said they’ve fielded numerous constituent requests to add people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their caregivers.

Populations not included in Phase 2’s priority groups will become eligible with the general public on April 19.

(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.