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Demonstration at NKY Health office focused on delay with COVID-19 vaccinations for those with disabilities

By Mark Hansel

Bulldog Report Managing Editor

A group of demonstrators showed up outside the Northern Kentucky Health Department (NKY Health) office in Florence to express concerns that those with developmental disabilities have not yet gotten COVID-19 vaccinations.

Initially, individuals with developmental disabilities (IDD) were listed in group 1A on the state’s vaccination list. They have since been moved to group 1C, behind K-12 school personnel, those over the age of 70, and first responders.

NKY Health issued the following statement regarding the demonstration:

Addressing COVID-19 Vaccination Concerns for Vulnerable Populations

Northern Kentucky Health Department (NKY Health) is aware of the advocacy efforts for COVID-19 vaccination of individuals with an intellectual/developmental disability, today at our district office.

NKY Health recognizes the concerns of the individuals, their families and the agencies that serve them regarding the priority of phases and access to COVID-19 vaccinations. The state of Kentucky determines the phases for vaccine distribution and which groups are in the various phases. The state has assigned these individuals to Phase 1C, along with other people who have serious medical conditions that put them at increased risk of severe complications of COVID-19.

The state has an insufficient supply of vaccine they receive from the federal government to distribute to a limited number of providers. As a result, most providers including pharmacies are not able to administer vaccine to the public at this time.

“I want to assure the participants, their families, and the agencies who provide services for this population that they have not been forgotten. Unfortunately, many people with complex medical conditions who are at high risk are having to wait to be vaccinated against COVID-19, due to the lack of adequate doses being available at the local level” says Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health of the Northern Kentucky Health Department, “When vaccine is available to local providers for this population, individuals will be vaccinated in a way that meets their unique needs.” NKY Health has compiled a list of facilities and agencies that serve vulnerable populations in NKY and will be working with these agencies.”

The group included about 25 demonstrators.

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