COVID-19 Vaccine Special Alert
NC has updated vaccine information, including priority for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities
People with Intellectual and other Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) are now explicitly included in prioritized populations for the COVID-19 vaccine in North Carolina, according to an announcement this week by Governor Roy Cooper.
Any individuals with I/DD receiving 30 days or more of home and community based services (HCBS) can schedule a vaccine now. Other individuals with I/DD who do not yet qualify for the vaccine can start scheduling vaccine appointments on March 24, 2021.
NCDHHS also shared clarifications for Groups 1 and 4. The definition of long-term care in Group 1 has been updated for people with intellectual and developmental disability. Higher-risk medical conditions for Group 4 include intellectual and developmental disabilities including Down Syndrome, and neurologic conditions, such as dementia, per the announcement.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services also announced several updates regarding COVID-19 vaccine administration in the state.
1. Additional Frontline Essential Workers will be eligible for vaccine beginning on Wed., March 3.
With the authorization of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine, [there is] another tested, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to protect-against virus-related hospitalization and death. With three vaccines, North Carolina can provide more people with vaccines sooner.
2. [NC] will plan to move to Group 4, beginning with people who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk and live in additional congregate settings, on March 24.
This population includes anyone with conditions that have been identified by the CDC as increasing risk for severe COVID-19 illness and anyone who is living in congregate or close group living settings who is not already vaccinated including, people experiencing homelessness or living in a homeless shelter and people in a correctional facility, such as jail or prison. Learn more – Deeper Dive Group 4: Adults at Higher Risk of Exposure and Increased Risk of Severe Illness (Higher-Risk Conditions and Additional Congregate Settings).
3. Definitions in Group 4 have been clarified.
High-risk medical conditions include Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, including Down Syndrome, and neurologic conditions, such as dementia and schizophrenia. Learn more – Deeper Dive Group 4: Adults at High Risk for Exposure and Increased Risk of Severe Illness (Essential Workers Not Yet Vaccinated and Other Group Living Settings).
4. The definition of long-term care in Group 1 has been updated for people with intellectual and developmental disability.
Long-term care includes people receiving long- term home care for more than 30 days. This includes home and Community Based Services for persons with intellectual and developmental disability, private duty nursing, personal care services, and home health and hospice. Learn more – Deeper Dive Group 1: Health Care Workers and Long-Term Care Staff and Residents.
Currently eligible groups will continue to be prioritized. These include health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, people 65 and older, and child care and school staff. Some vaccine providers may not be ready to open to frontline essential workers on March 3 if they are still experiencing high demand for vaccines in Groups 1, 2, and 3 (child care and school staff).