[PACapitalChapter] FW: [NFBP-Talk] Covid 19 vaccine and people with disabilities FW:

Brian Mackey bmackey88 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 5 21:11:41 UTC 2021



From: NFBP-Talk [mailto:nfbp-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of christine
Boone via NFBP-Talk
Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 2021 3:55 PM
To: 'NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List' <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>; 'NFB of
Nebraska Membership List' <nfbn-membership at nfbnet.org>; 'NFB of Pennsylvania
Talk, state list' <nfbp-talk at nfbnet.org>
Cc: christine Boone <christineboone2 at gmail.com>
Subject: [NFBP-Talk] Covid 19 vaccine and people with disabilities FW:



Greetings to my Federation colleagues in Nebraska, Michigan and

I thought you all might find some of the folowing information helpful. 


FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination


Ask the Expert

Friends & Colleagues:

The first COVID-19 vaccines are being administered to healthcare
professionals across the nation, enabling them to continue responding to the
pandemic from the frontlines with additional protection. As of December 30,
2020 more than 2.7 million people have received their first dose of the
COVID-19 vaccine.

There is a tremendous amount of information being reported about the vaccine
and its distribution, and we recognize that you have a responsibility to
provide the most recent, accurate information with your communities. We also
recognize that you, as disability stakeholders, have questions about the
vaccine that are specific to people with disabilities.

In the course of my work as the director of
UdjhAGZdEH_SJuSMj3MFhizuPzxDg==> FEMA's Office of Disability Integration and
Coordination, I recently connected with a subject matter expert, Dr. Hardeep
Sandhu, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The doctor has
generously agreed to share his knowledge with our disability stakeholders in
this first edition of our Ask the Expert series. 

This short Q&A between me and Dr. Sandhu is intended to cover basic
information about the COVID vaccine around the following key areas:

*       Vaccine Development 

*       Vaccine Distribution

*       Vaccine Safety

You will find additional resources at the end of this message, which you can
use to provide your communities with facts about COVID-19.

Wishing you all a safe and happy new year,

Linda Mastandrea

Director, Office of Disability Integration and Coordination

Office of the Administrator




Linda Mastandrea, FEMA, ODIC

Hardeep, Sandhu, MBBA, MD; Regional Coordinator for HHS Region 6, Vaccine
Task Force, CDC COVID-19 Response

LM: How is HHS coordinating the COVID-19 vaccine response? 

Dr. Sandhu: In partnership among components of the Department of Health and
Human Services and the Department of Defense, with engagement from private
firms and other federal agencies, and coordinating among existing HHS-wide
efforts, we have created "Operation Warp Speed," a plan to accelerate the
development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,
therapeutics and diagnostics. Operation Warp Speed's goal is to produce and
deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial
doses available by January 2021. 

We are also working with several federal entities that will receive direct
allocation of COVID-19 vaccines, including the Federal Bureau of Prisons,
Department of Defense, Department of State, Veterans Health Administration
and Indian Health Service.

LM: Now that the first vaccine is ready to be administered, who can get the
vaccine and when will it be widely available to our communities?

Dr. Sandhu: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
recommended that vaccines in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination
program (Phase 1a) should be offered to health care personnel (HCP) and
residents of long-term care facilities. The ACIP has recommended that
planning should begin for subsequent phases, including Phase 1b (frontline
essential workers and individuals 75 years of age and older) and Phase 1c
(other essential workers, persons 65-74 years of age, and individuals 16-64
years of age with underlying medical conditions). States and other
jurisdictions will determine the timing of vaccination for different groups.

LM: Will insurance plans cover the vaccine, or will there be a cost passed
on to patients?

Dr. Sandhu: COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed by the federal government
at no cost to COVID-19 vaccination providers, so there is no cost to
individuals for the vaccine itself. However, providers may bill your
insurance company or Medicaid and Medicare for an office visit and/or an
administration fee when administering the COVID-19 vaccine. It is important
to know that enrolled vaccine providers must administer COVID-19 vaccine
regardless of the vaccine recipient's ability to pay COVID-19 vaccine
administration fees or coverage status. 

LM: If someone receives the vaccine does it mean they won't get COVID?

Dr. Sandhu: Two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in the United
States from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Based on
evidence from clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95%, and the
Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed
COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of previous infection. 

Both vaccines are Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. mRNA vaccines do not use
the live virus that causes COVID-19. They are a new type of vaccine to
protect against infectious diseases. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to
make a protein-or even just a piece of a protein-that triggers an immune
response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies,
is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our

LM: If someone has already had COVID, should they take the vaccine?

Dr. Sandhu: Yes. CDC recommends that people get vaccinated even if they
already had COVID-19, because you can become infected more than once. While
you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from
COVID-19, we don't know how long this protection will last.   

LM: What should older adults, those with chronic health conditions, and
those with illness or other conditions that may compromise their immune
systems know about the vaccine?

Dr. Sandhu: COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with
underlying health conditions. People with these conditions are more likely
to get very sick from COVID-19. All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in
clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet
safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, ethnicities.
There were no serious safety concerns, although severe allergic reactions
have been reported as the vaccine has rolled out more broadly. CDC and the
FDA will keep monitoring the vaccines to look for safety issues after they
are authorized and in use. If individuals have specific questions about
their health conditions and vaccination, consult with your healthcare

LM: Are there additional safety precautions that people with disabilities,
older adults and/or individuals with chronic health conditions should be

Dr. Sandhu: It is important that these individuals and any of their direct
support care providers keep covering their mouths and noses with a mask,
wash hands often, and stay at least 6 feet away from others before and after
getting each dose of the vaccine. This is because the vaccines are not 100%
effective. Everyone who gets vaccinated should continue taking these
precautions until the vaccine is in widespread use and COVID-19 rates have
declined.  Wearing masks may be difficult for some people with sensory,
cognitive, or behavioral issues. If people are unable to wear a mask
properly or cannot tolerate a mask, they should not wear one, and
ch=Wf8LzrHaRa3KgtKH-oFYzVi5hUdjhAGZdEH_SJuSMj3MFhizuPzxDg==> adaptations and
alternatives should be considered. 

LM: Should people who take several medications to manage their health take
the vaccine?

Dr. Sandhu: mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to persons with
underlying medical conditions who have no contraindications to vaccination
(e.g. severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis). Clinical trials demonstrated
similar safety and efficacy profiles in persons with some underlying medical
conditions, including those that place them at increased risk for severe
COVID-19, compared to persons without comorbidities. If individuals have
specific questions about the medications they take and vaccination, they
should consult with their healthcare provider.  


You will find the most recent information to share with your communities at
oFYzVi5hUdjhAGZdEH_SJuSMj3MFhizuPzxDg==> cdc.gov/coronavirus. Because the
site is regularly updated, check back frequently for the most current
information to share in your social media, websites, and other

*       Precautions for People with Disabilities:

*       Guidance for Direct Service Providers:

*       Guidance for Group Homes for Individuals with Disabilities:

*       Precautions for People with Developmental and Behavioral Disorders:

*       Healthcare Needs for Children and Youth:

*       Precautions for People at Increased Risk - Guidance for Older

*       CDC's YouTube Channel:

This information is provided solely as an information resource.


Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) |
www.ilru.org |  <mailto:ilru at ilru.org> ilru at ilru.org 


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