Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board (Summit DD) and Summit County Public Health (SCPH) conducted drive through vaccine clinics at SCPH this month. Nearly 700 individuals with disabilities living in congregate settings and their caregivers received the first dose of the vaccine during Phase 1A of Ohio’s vaccine roll out.
“Individuals with developmental disabilities and their caregivers who live in congregate settings are at particular risk for developing complications from COVID-19,“ stated John Trunk, Summit DD Superintendent. “Direct Support Professionals have been on the front line of this pandemic and have been hit particularly hard by this virus, our Summit County Public Health officials moved quickly and efficiently to protect the health of safety of those we serve,” Trunk continued.
Direct Support Professionals, as essential staff, work for various disability service providers throughout the County and continued to provide services to more than 800 adults living in congregate settings. Summit DD has supported these providers through the distribution of PPE, cleaning supplies, testing, and grants to help fight the pandemic.
“I don’t want to catch it and I don’t want to give it to my elderly parents,” stated Chris, who is an adult with a disability in a congregate setting. “It was weird, I felt nothing,” Chris described what it felt like to get the shot.
“I would recommend getting the shot to everyone”, said Melisa Gifford, Direct Support Professional from Ardmore, Inc. “I want to get back to the individuals I serve and my family.”
Vaccines distributed to individuals with developmental disabilities in Phase 1A were allocated by the Department of Health to SCPH. SCPH coordinated the drive through, registration and administration of the first round of vaccines.
Donna Skoda, Summit County Public Health Commissioner stated, “Summit County is honored and privileged to roll out vaccines to some of our most vulnerable citizens that have been hit hard with COVID-19. Hats off to the heroic men and women who continue to serve the vulnerable populations in these homes. These vaccines will make their valuable contribution to those with Developmental Disabilities a much safer endeavor. Please if you have not taken the vaccine, please consider doing so quickly. We must all work together to stop COVID-19.”
The second dose of the vaccine will be available to individuals in Phase 1A mid-February.
Individuals with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders and a developmental disability are included in Phase 1B and are scheduled to begin the week of January 25. Individuals in this phase are eligible if they are actively receiving services from Summit DD. Summit DD is coordinating with SCPH and Akron Children’s Hospital to provide drive through clinics over the next two weeks. If you are actively receiving Summit DD services and are interested in the vaccine, please contact your SSA or RSS.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are not actively receiving services from Summit DD and are interested in the vaccine, sign up with Summit County Public Health here.