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Advocates Want Vaccine Priority For All Arizonans With Disabilities

Several disability advocacy groups in Arizona are joining together to make sure people with disabilities are prioritized in Arizona’s vaccine distribution plan.

The Arizona Center for Disability Law, the Arc of Arizona, Ability360, the Arizona Developmental Planning Council and others sent a letter to Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ Dec. 14 calling for explicit language in future revisions of the state’s plan to include individuals with disabilities and their caregivers regardless of the setting where they live.

The state’s draft distribution plan for the COVID-19 vaccine does specifically prioritize people living in Division of Developmental Disabilities’ group homes. But they say many more people here are living with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and they need prioritization, too.

Sey In is an attorney with the Arizona Center for Disability Law. The Show spoke with him for more about those the state might be overlooking.

The Show also reached out to the Arizona Department of Health Services about this letter. A spokesperson said Dr. Christ had not received it. 

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.