ROCHESTER – The Center for Disability Rights (CDR) held its seventh COVID-19 vaccine clinic on April 28, 2021 at its headquarters at 497 State Street.
Through an innovative partnership with the Monroe County Department of Public Health, Acute Kids and Rochester Psychiatric Center, so far over 180 doses of the Moderna vaccine have been provided to the greater Rochester disabled community and their workers through CDR clinics. The April 28th clinic included people receiving their second dose.
Disabled people – and particularly those living with chronic illness and/or in institutional settings – are at an increased risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19. However, the disabled community’s ability to access vaccine is hindered by limited access to mass vaccination sites and difficulty navigating vaccination scheduling websites.
Reflecting on the success of the clinics and the collaboration born from it, CDR President and CEO Bruce Darling states “throughout this pandemic our community has been treated as an afterthought, left to die in nursing facilities. It was nice to be a part of making them a central focus in efforts to end the pandemic.”
CDR is uniquely situated to facilitate access and support the needs of the disabled community in ways that other large vaccination sites are not.
“I am extremely grateful to be here getting my second vaccination with my entire family who are also getting vaccinated.” said Karen Blachowicz President of the American Council for the Blind of New York. Other community leaders receiving their vaccines at CDR include community leaders Kenyatta Dacosta and Roberta Wallach.
The allocation of vaccine to CDR and the community partnership it has inspired is a replicable public health model communities can use to promote fair and equitable vaccine access to a population that cannot be served by the primary vaccine distribution system.
CDR intends to continue this important service for as long as there is demand. Anyone interested in getting vaccinated can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (585) 697-1660.
For more information on Monroe County’s vaccination efforts please visit their vaccine information website.
For more information on AcuteKids please visit their website.