Rhonda Fuelberth signed Prioritize Disability Vaccine Access 2021-02-24 15:32:04 -0800Please reconsider this sudden change to Nebraska’s vaccination prioritization. The ramifications of this decision to remove individuals living with specific health concerns from 1B prioritization are far-reaching. These decisions are far-reaching not only as they relate to COVID-19 vaccinations, but also because the removal of individuals with specific health concerns makes a statement regarding our value of human life. Everyone has been affected in some way by this pandemic, but the social isolation for individuals who have no choice but to stay home, accompanied by the impact on their families who do their best to protect them, has been life-altering. Nebraska’s acknowledgment of and alignment with the December 23rd decision by the CDC to move individuals with certain underlying health conditions made me proud of our state. It also gave a glimmer of hope to Nebraska citizens who have been impacted profoundly by this pandemic. Please don’t take this glimmer of hope away.
Whereas, Governor Ricketts removed people with underlying conditions from the 1B Priority Group for the Covid Vaccine
Whereas, If infected, people with Down Syndrome are five times more likely to be hospitalized and 10 times more likely to die than the general population,
Whereas, 83% of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities are not receiving state services and part of the groups of people with disabilities that have not yet received the Covid Vaccine.
Whereas, Nebraska’s service system fails to recognize many people intellectual and developmental disabilities.994 signatures
Therefore, we call on Governor Ricketts to add people with disabilities back to the Priority Group for Covid Vaccines. We must provide equitable access to testing for those in communities, in facilities, in services, and supported by their families. In order to ensure this, we must eliminate barriers including but not limited to lack of access to transportation, limitations of vehicles, ensure quality testing in community services, provide testing in facilities, make the website accessible, create a comprehensive data set involving all people, and ensure equitable care for all Nebraskans.