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CDC: Those with disabilities have a tougher time getting COVID-19 vaccines

A new CDC study reveals that Americans with a disability were more likely to seek COVID-19 vaccines, but had more challenges obtaining them compared with other people.

A survey comprising nearly 57,000 people from May to June 2021 revealed that unvaccinated people with a disability—such as problems with vision, hearing, or walking—were nearly twice as likely as unvaccinated consumers without a disability to say they would definitely get vaccinated.

However, among consumers aged 50 to 64 years, 63% of people with a disability had received COVID-19 vaccine doses compared with 72% of other people.

“COVID-19 vaccination coverage was lower among U.S. adults with a disability than among those without a disability, even though adults with a disability reported less hesitancy to getting vaccinated,” the study authors wrote.

The study noted that state-supervised vaccine registration websites were not all compliant with basic accessibility recommendations. The authors suggested that online scheduling systems offer call lines for people who require assistance with registering for a time slot.

They also said that not all vaccination sites had American Sign Language interpreters or workers trained in helping people with developmental disabilities. They also noted that for people with a disability, getting to vaccination sites in the first place was often difficult.

“These efforts would be relevant to the reduction of health disparities related to disability beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” the researchers concluded.

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