When most of the country is prioritizing the health workers, first responders, and senior citizens to get the coronavirus vaccine, Detroit is set to expand its horizon for the vaccination queue.
Detroit is planning to start vaccinating people with certain disabilities that include adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, people having hearing and vision impairment, people suffering from some sort of intellectual or developmental disability.
Detroit The First To Include People With Disabilities And ADHD In The COVID-19 Vaccination Queue
The Disability Health Research Center director, and an epidemiologist at the John Hopkins University, Bonneilin Swenor, said that although surprised, he is really happy to receive the news.
He added that it feels good to know that people in the disability community are also listened to and considered. The prioritization of the community to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is remarkable.
Swenor said that this move has a great potential to spark a change in society. It will give way to increased equality and access to people with disabilities.
The vaccination criteria differs from one community to the other. The decision to prioritize the disabled community in the COVID-19 vaccination queue is a difficult and delicate choice at a time when there is no evidence that suggests that people with such disability are at risk of dying if infected.
In the country, it is likely that two different individuals doing the same type of job, are in similar health, have the same age, can face radically different odds of accessing the vaccine just because of the location they reside in, the place from where they receive the health treatment, and the political landscape in the state.
Questions are obviously raised in a community like Detroit where a person in his 20s and with ADHD will receive a COVID-19 shot ahead of another person who is in his 50s and has chronic heart or lung issues. It is difficult to answer whose health should be prioritized.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement that they are assessing these questions at every stage and announced on Wednesday in a press conference that people above 60 who are suffering from serious physical health conditions can be vaccinated.
Detroit has earlier included only those abilities that are known to increase the risk of dying from COVID-19 infection. It was assessed that disabilities like autism and ADHD make a person not maintain social distancing or wear a mask or follow the necessary guidelines to contain the pandemic’s spread.
Mayor Duggan said that when everyone had a chance to get vaccinated in a particular category, they are now moving to the next categories. It is estimated that around 15,000 people receive the shot every week. The eligibility list for the vaccination queue now includes teachers, grocery clerks, waiters, clergy members, postal workers, etc. The list also includes the homeless.
Duggan added that they have moved to the next category that includes disabled people as they are the next highest risk.
The move was taken after many advocates flooded the Mayor’s office to consider the people with disabilities as it is a much bigger challenge for them to avoid the infection. It was expected that people suffering from Down’s Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy would be considered in the vaccination list. But it was a great pleasure and wonderful surprise for many that the ADHD condition was also counted for in the list.
Detroit had been hit severely by the coronavirus pandemic. More than 1,800 people had died due to COVID-19. The dying people also include the Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, State Rep. Issac Robinson and many other community leaders.