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Breaking News: All Regional Center Consumers and IHSS Eligible for the Vaccine

The State just announced that all consumers of Regional Centers, independent living centers, and In-Home Supportive Services are eligible for the COVID vaccine starting on March 15, 2021. Also, people can verify through self-attestation.

What does the State say?
People with a range of physical and behavioral disabilities including all enrolled consumers of regional centers, independent living centers, in-home supportive services, and community-based adult services/adult day health centers are eligible for a COVID vaccine on March 15. Verification documentation of the diagnosis or type of disability is not required, but anyone meeting the eligibility requirements will be asked to sign a self-attestation that they meet the criteria for high-risk medical conditions or disabilities.

Will I need a letter?
DDS has asked Regional Centers to still issue personalized letters to their consumers. People can bring this letter when getting a vaccine in case there are any questions. Other programs may still issue letters too.

How do people with these high-risk conditions or disabilities get a vaccine?

  • Your Health Care Provider: The California Department of Public Health strongly recommends people with high-risk conditions to seek vaccination with a primary health care provider or system, or in an alternate clinical setting. Check first with your usual health care provider to see if they have vaccines and available appointments. Health care providers who have vaccines may also begin reaching out to you, as a patient with a significant, high-risk medical condition or disability known to the provider, to schedule your vaccine appointment.
  • Pharmacies: You can check your local pharmacies to see if they have vaccines and available appointments. For the month of March, federal direction is that all school and child care staff are prioritized for pharmacy vaccines, so supply for other populations remains limited.
  • Your Local Health Department: Your local health department’s website will continue to have information about how to find available vaccine appointments, even as national supply remains limited.
  • Community Pop-Up Clinics: Community pop-up clinics for people with high-risk medical conditions and disabilities will roll out in mid-March and will be targeted for equity to those living in communities with the lowest Healthy Place Index scores. Community partners will outreach to people eligible for the pop-up clinics.
  • MyTurn: Throughout the spring, as vaccine supply increases and the statewide vaccinator network grows, you will be able to schedule an appointment through California’s MyTurn, in two ways:
    • On-line at https://myturn.ca.gov/. The MyTurn website is accessible to people with disabilities and in eight languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Japanese.
    • Calling the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255 or 1-833-4CA-4ALL (M-F 8AM-8PM, Sa-Su 8AM-5PM). The Hotline is accessible to people with disabilities and offers services in English and Spanish, with connections to interpretive services in more than 250 languages.

How soon will I be able to get an appointment?
The national supply of the vaccine remains limited, so appointments for the estimated 4.4 million Californians with disabilities and high-risk health conditions will not immediately be available to all who are eligible. As supply increases, more appointments for vaccines will become available.

What do I do when I make an appointment?
You will be asked to state that you have a disability or high-risk medical condition or disability, either to book an available appointment or to register for notice of future appointments made available as supply increases. You will be able to request an accommodation at your vaccine site through myturn.ca.gov.

Where can I learn more?
Here are some helpful website you can get in-depth information from.

Thank you!
We would like to thank the Governor and the CA Department of Public Health for listening to our advocacy and understanding the research and science behind prioritizing people with disabilities.

The inclusion of people with disabilities in this vaccination plan is the result of passionate and smart advocacy. We are proud of Councilmembers, you, and a unified disability advocacy movement who joined SCDD to make sure that people with disabilities are eligible for the COVID vaccine. This is the win we wanted. Thank you.