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Monday, January 11, 2021

Vaccinating People in Congregate Settings

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families. Those challenges get far more intense during disasters.  And coronavirus is proving to be the biggest disaster of all.

Karen Weintraub at USA Today:
[A]cross the country, the priority level for people who live in group homes varies by state – even though the outbreak this spring showed that they are two-to-three times more likely to be exposed to and die from COVID-19 than the general population.

"Those of us who live in congregate settings, or who need in-person services and are unable to distance from staff, are at particularly high risk," said Sam Crane, legal director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, which represents people on the autism spectrum.

Some people with intellectual and developmental disabilities need help eating and bathing, so they can't keep physically distant. Many are unable to tolerate masks. And they often have medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious infections with COVID-19.

"All these risk factors make it particularly critical that people with I/DD be prioritized for vaccination," Crane said via email.