Press Release For Immediate Information, contact
Feb. 11th, 2021 Jeffrey Nolish, Policy Director
Disabled Detroiters & Caregivers: Vaccine Priority in Mayor’s Initiative
After pressure from disabled residents, City announces plan
to vaccinate vulnerable Detroiters
Detroit, MI - In a press conference this afternoon, Mayor Mike Duggan, Chief Public Health Officer, Denise Fair, and Director of Disability Affairs, Christopher Samp, announced an expansion of vaccine eligibility to Detroiters 18 years and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their caregivers. This expansion was the result of a multi-prong campaign, including hundreds of letters and phone calls to Mayor Duggan and Ms. Fair over the last 2 weeks, led by Detroit Disability Power and supported by countless organizations and individuals who care about Detroit's Disability Community.
We commend the city for leading on this important and life saving initiative. And we call on the Governor to follow suit, ensuring Michiganders with disabilities from all regions of our state have the same opportunity to protect themselves as we do now in Detroit.
“Thank you to the City of Detroit for prioritizing COVID-19 vaccinaitons for people with disabilities. This has the potential to protect tens of thousands of disabled lives. With Detroit leading, we hope more cities, counties and the State of Michigan follow suit,” said Jeffrey Nolish, policy director for Detroit Disability Power.
There are over 126,000 Detroiters with disabilities. Last March, the World Health Organization warned that people with disabilities would be at higher risk of negative outcomes from COVID. Since then research has shown that people with IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) are 3 times more likely to die from COVID and people with Down syndrome are more than 10 times more likely to die. These disparities are rooted in long-standing inequities. While we continue to work to dismantle ableism at all levels of society, we know this vaccine prioritization will immediately begin to save lives here in Detroit.
Disabled Detroiters deserve to be a priority in times of crisis and in times of calm.