Ask Governor Mills to vaccinate people with disabilities and high-risk individuals now
This petition had 1,271 supporters
Maine’s new, age-based approach to the vaccine rollout is in conflict with public health recommendations and the practices in the vast majority of other states. Maine initially took the necessary steps to target health care workers and residents of congregate facilities in the rollout, reaching those shouldering the highest risk of exposure. The changed plan, however, abandons Mainers who are at the highest risk of complications or death due to COVID-19.
It is no secret that people with disabilities often have health conditions that put them at greater risk of life-threatening illness from COVID-19. The U.S. CDC recognizes the science behind this assertion by clearly outlining that “people with disabilities can be a part of any of these phases” in their COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Recommendations .
The negative impacts of the pandemic have not been distributed equally in Maine and across the country. In order to avoid exacerbating these inequalities, communities that have experienced the most significant impacts, and who face the most significant risks, and their family members/caregivers, should be prioritized to receive the vaccine.
In light of the recent relaxing of tourism restrictions, Maine should allow healthcare providers to use their clinical judgement to vaccinate individuals of any age who are deemed to be at the very highest risk for morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 as a direct result of a health condition or a disability. This approach is consistent with CDC recommendations regarding prioritization  and the practices of the vast majority of states .
The undersigned request that you continue to follow the science and prioritize those at greatest risk by dedicating a certain number of vaccines to people with disabilities or high-risk medical conditions, regardless of age.
 CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Recommendations (Feb. 19, 2021) (Including the following in group 1C “People aged 16-64 years with underlying medical conditions which increase the risk of serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19.”) available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations.html See also: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html and https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/phased-implementation.html#high-risk-underlying-medical-conditions
 As of March 4, 2021, states and territories that have in some way prioritized people with health conditions and disabilities that put them at high risk of COVID-related complications include: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. See: Johns Hopkins University, Disability Health Research Center, “COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Dashboard”, available at: https://disabilityhealth.jhu.edu/vaccine/
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