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Vaccination Day for People with Disabilities
The California State Council on Developmental Disabilities and Disability Voices United have created some great resources for medical providers and family advocates of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) in both English and Spanish.
Vaccination Day for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Tips for Medical Staff
Vaccination Day for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Tips for Family Advocates
State’s online eligibility tool no longer required starting March 31
Washington State Department of Health (OLYMPIA) – Phase Finder, the state’s online vaccine eligibility tool, will no longer be required to verify COVID-19 vaccine eligibility starting March 31.
That means that people who want a vaccine should check DOH’s prioritization guidance webpage to see when they are eligible to get vaccinated. Those who are eligible can then use Vaccine Locator to find an appointment. After March 30, those who visit the Phase Finder site will be directed to Vaccine Locator. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has informed vaccine providers of this change. DOH has asked that providers no longer require Phase Finder to schedule an appointment or ask for it when patients arrive for their appointment.
Vaccine Locator is available in 30 languages and will add seven more languages by the end of April. Those who have further questions or need help making an appointment can call the state’s COVID-19 information hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #. Language assistance is available.
While Phase Finder is going away, the state’s vaccine phases are staying the same. The state remains in Phase 1B2, and on March 31, vaccine eligibility opens to people in Phase 1B tiers 3 and 4.
“The goal is to vaccinate as many vulnerable community members as fast as possible before opening vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 years and older in just a few weeks. Removing Phase Finder will help speed up the process by reducing barriers for eligible individuals,” says Michele Roberts, one of the state leaders for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. “We trust most people will continue to do the right thing and wait their turn to be vaccinated.”
Vaccine for Caregivers
The Department of Health has clarified the definition for caregivers eligible for vaccine to ensure more consistent and equitable access. Caregivers who meet this definition are eligible for vaccine in 1a as workers in health care settings. Specifically:
- Eligible caregivers (licensed, unlicensed, paid, unpaid, formal, or informal) who support the daily, functional and health needs of another individual who is at high risk for COVID-19 illness due to advanced age, long-term physical condition, co-morbidities, or developmental or intellectual disability. For the caregiver to be eligible, the care recipient:
- Must be someone who needs caregiving support for their daily, functioning, and health needs.
- Can be an adult or minor child. For dependent minor children, the caregiver is eligible if that child has an underlying health condition or disability that puts them at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness. For example: a caregiver of a minor child with Down syndrome.
To get started, visit findyourphasewa.org and respond “Yes” when asked if you work in a health care setting.
Phase Finder in other languages: Due to technical limitations, DOH was not able to build one Phase Finder tool with a drop down to every available language. To solve this, DOH created one Phase Finder form for every available language. Click here for links to the Phase Finder in each language.
Coming March 17th…Eligibility for People with Disabilities
Prioritization of people with disabilities – eligible in Phase 1b, Tier 2 starting on March 17th (Estimated)
The Department of Health has included individuals with certain disabilities that put people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness in the next tier of eligibility. People who meet this definition will be eligible for vaccine starting March 17th (estimated).
- Individuals with Down syndrome, a developmental disability, or an intellectual disability, or who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/low-vision, or deafblind; AND that disability or an underlying medical condition increases their risk for severe outcomes per the CDC’s list of the conditions that put people at increased risk of severe illness.
Additional Resources and Information
Questions and Feedback
- Email DOH with general COVID vaccine questions.
- Provide formal feedback on the vaccine prioritization and allocation.
- Ask questions about the Collaborative
COVID Vaccine resources for People with Disabilities and their Families