Additional Vaccine Communication

The following information was produced by our Associate Director of Quality Assurance, Laura Viers, on February 3rd, 2021:

To all Support, Inc. Staff, Providers and Families,

Colorado continues to review and update the State’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. On the updated plan below, highlighted in green are the groups the state is currently offering the vaccine to, this is people in Phase 1A and Phase 1B.1. The biggest change to the updated plan includes splitting Phase 1B into additional categories. This includes moving Coloradoan’s who are age 65-69 up in eligibility to Phase 1B.2, this will be the next group of people to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Governor Polis announced the Sate expects to move into Phase 1B.2 on February 8th.

Group 1B.3 includes Coloradoan’s age 16-64 who have two or more high risk conditions. Many individuals in services may be eligible in this phase of the vaccine.  The state has defined these high risk categories to include; Coloradoan’s with cancer (defined as a patient currently receiving treatment or having received treatment within the last month for cancer), chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes mellitus, Down Syndrome, specific heart conditions (heart failure, cardiomyopathies, or coronary heart disease, and severe valvular/congenital heart disease), obesity ((BMI ≥ 30kg/m^2), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, solid organ transplant and people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks.

Now is the time to discuss with the individual(s) you support what their desire is for getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Having these conversations now will ensure the individual’s team understands the person’s wishes regarding the vaccine as well as any supports that may be needed once the individual is eligible. Having a plan now is crucial to ensure individuals can get the supports needed to access the vaccine when they become eligible.

There is a lot happening with seemingly constant changes regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. While employees and contractors of Support, Inc. are eligible in Phase 1B.1 vaccine availability across the state varies and there is a larger demand for the vaccine than there is supply to meet that demand. Each county health department has a different process for connecting eligible Coloradoans with a vaccine provider. Some counties have been slower to get appointments set up or respond to our requests for large scale clinics for our employees and contractors. The slow speed to get a vaccine appointment is frustrating but hang in there. We remain committed to breaking through any barriers to help support you in getting the vaccine.

The question often comes up about how we can get individual’s in services scheduled to receive their vaccine. At this time individual’s with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities do not have their own unique group on Colorado’s Phased distribution plan. Individual’s receiving services will be eligible for the vaccine based on the individual diagnosis and age. We are also not able to set up clinics to administer the vaccine to individual’s in services. As Colorado continues to increase vaccine supply and subsequent phases become eligible, we hope to see more vaccine options for all constituents of Support, Inc. We will continue to monitor these develops and ensure we provide updates on a regular basis.

Please reach out to your team or me with any questions or concerns.

Laura Viers,

Associate Director of Quality Assurance