NEW U.S. Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 Resources to Help Improve Vaccine Accessibility for People with Disabilities and Older Adults
April 16, 2021
As part of a shared commitment to President Biden’s National Strategy and Executive Order to ensure an equitable COVID-19 response, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published new resources to help states, vaccination providers, and others leading COVID-19 response activities improve vaccine accessibility for people with disabilities and older adults.
These resources include:
HHS Office for Civil Rights Guidance on Federal Legal Standards Prohibiting Disability Discrimination in COVID-19 Vaccination Programs The Office for Civil Rights released new guidance outlining legal standards under federal civil rights laws prohibiting disability discrimination in the context of COVID-19 vaccine programs and providing concrete examples of their application. The legal standards include providing reasonable modifications, effective communication and program accessibility.
Disability Access in Vaccine Distribution (4/12/2021) This document discusses what disability rights laws apply, who must comply with these laws, and key actions to provide access. These actions include eliminating discriminatory administrative barriers, providing effective communication and an equal opportunity to make vaccine appointments, and ensuring program access.
Strategies for Helping Older Adults and People with Disabilities Access COVID-19 Vaccines (last updated 4/2021) This document offers examples and promising practices for states, municipalities, community-based partners, and anyone else working to ensure that people with disabilities and older adults can access COVID-19 vaccinations. These strategies include providing accessible outreach materials as well as determining vaccine site accessibility issues and making necessary accommodations.