People with disabilities report more difficulty getting COVID-19 vaccine


Coronavirus delta variant. (File/Getty)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The CDC reported that adults with disabilities are at higher risk for COVID-19 illness and death. At the same time, this population has also reported having more trouble getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC reported disability alone does not put someone at risk. It said living in a long-term care facility or close contact with a caregiver does.

The information came from the National Immunization Survey Adult COVID Module after a survey of 56,749 people from late May to late June. People were considered to have a disability if they had difficulty seeing, hearing, walking, remembering, making decisions, or communicating. While people with disabilities did have a harder time getting a shot in the arm, they were less likely to be vaccine-hesitant.

The biggest differences were in the 18-24 age group and 25-29 age group. The 18 to 24 age group had a 13 percent difference in vaccination. While 46 percent of people without a disability were vaccinated in this age group, just 34 percent of people with a disability were vaccinated.

The 25 to 29 age group had a 14 percent difference. While 50 percent of people without a disability were vaccinated in this age group, just 36 percent of people with a disability were vaccinated.

AgeVaccinated with disabilityVaccinated without disability
18–24 (Ref)33.5%46.4%

In the survey, the biggest challenges were getting an appointment online, not knowing where to get vaccinated, getting to vaccination sites, and vaccination sites not being open at convenient times.

The CDC said reducing barriers to vaccine scheduling and making vaccination sites more accessible could improve vaccination rates.

The report said, “A recent exploratory analysis of official state and territorial COVID-19 vaccination registration websites found substantial variability and suboptimal compliance with basic accessibility recommendations”

It also found that not all vaccine sites had the same levels of accessibility. While sites need to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, they do not have to have American Sign Language interpreters or staff trained to help people with intellectual or other developmental disabilities.

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