The development, allocation, and distribution of the coronavirus vaccines has been a major focus for national, state and local organizations advocating for health equity.
Given the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the disability community, older adults, and communities of color, CPR has made it a priority to push for allocation frameworks and distribution plans that effectively meet the needs of these groups.
In October, CPR supported the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) principles for vaccine allocation, available here. These include, among other things
- Prioritization of people in all congregate settings and who receive home and community-based services (HCBS)
- Prioritization of workers in all congregate settings and who provide Home and Community Based Services
- Ensuring that both the information and the means of distribution are accessible
- Ensuring compliance with federal civil rights law and guidance
CPR also engaged in state-specific vaccine advocacy with a broad coalition of Massachusetts organizations. This work urged the Commonwealth to develop accessible education and outreach strategies, informed vaccine prioritization decisions, and called for vaccine program accommodations designed to ensure equal access for vulnerable, high-risk communities.
CPR also partnered with generous grantors including Health Decisions Massachusetts, the Tower Foundation, and the With Foundation. With their support, the Center conducted 6 listening sessions with a diverse group of disabled people, developed responsive outreach and educational materials on vaccine access, produced resources on informed choice in vaccine decision-making, and prepared know your rights resources on how to seek reasonable accommodations within the State vaccination program.
More information about these advocacy efforts, and the resources described above, can be found under “Advocacy Resources” below.