Ceremony Help, State Name Heart Set Up To Assist Individuals With Mental Disabilities Get COVID-19 Vaccine – CBS Pittsburgh
HARRISBURG, PA (KDKA) – The state continues to grapple with the barriers preventing some people from gaining access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“People with IDD and their caregivers face challenges in accessing the vaccine. They’re struggling with online planning and finding places where physical accommodations can be set up to meet their needs, ”said Sherri Landis of The Arc of Pennsylvania.
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Rite Aid has partnered with the state to open a call center that will give people with intellectual disabilities better access to the shot.
“People with intellectual disabilities are two and a half times more likely to get COVID, nearly three times more likely to be hospitalized, and nearly six times more likely to die than the general population,” said Matthew Aaron, Pennsylvania president of Special Olympics.
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These statistics are the reason for the partnership. Heads of state said they are working to break every barrier to protect anyone, especially those with underlying illnesses who cannot simply go to a clinic.
“The main housing that people seek is that they cannot wear a mask so that they cannot go to a public place. They cannot enter a store because for medical or sensory reasons they cannot tolerate wearing a mask. Said Kristin Ahrens, who works at the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs.
On site, KDKA asked the Autism Society of Pittsburgh if access here was a challenge. The group’s president told KDKA that he had not received any calls on the matter, but knows that several people already got the shot in Phase 1A.
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Regardless, this call center is operational and ready to help. If you need assistance, call 1-800-424-4345.