Disability Vaccine Access Hotline

Call 1-800-787-6046 to talk to someone about COVID-19 and your vaccine plan.

Protect your community.

Secure your shot.

We all play a part in protecting our communities from getting sick with COVID-19 and helping to stop the spread of the disease. Misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccine and barriers to vaccine access are common in South Carolina. We want to take action.

About Us

The SC Disability Vaccine Access Network was created to educate individuals in the disability community about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, provide help to overcome barriers to getting vaccinated, and to help those who want to get vaccinated to get the shot.

Learn the Facts

1 in 3 South Carolinians has a disability. People with disabilities are at high risk of severe sickness and potential death from COVID-19. It is important that people with disabilities get vaccinated, but you may be worried about the vaccine. We are here to help you learn more to make the best decision about vaccination.

Did You Know?

People with disabilities are considered a high-risk group for severe sickness and death caused by COVID-19. 1 in 3 South Carolinians has a disability. Lack of access to healthcare is the biggest barrier people with disabilities face when seeking COVID-19 prevention, treatment, and education.

In a survey done by the American Association on Health and Disability, 27%  of adults with disabilities said they would not be vaccinated or were unsure, based on vaccine hesitancy.

People who rely on direct care providers are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. It is critical that direct care providers, teachers, and other caregivers for people with disabilities receive their COVID-19 vaccination to protect this at-risk population.

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions from People with Disabilities

Are you nervous about COVID-19? Here are the facts about protecting yourself and others with vaccination. Vaccine hesitancy in people with disabilities is often related to their past experiences or fear of how the vaccine will impact their disability.

Last Updated 8/4/2022

Educate Yourself: What is COVID-19? What is my risk?

COVID-19: What is it?

COVID-19 is the nickname for coronavirus. COVID-19 is making people sick all over the world, including people in South Carolina. People with disabilities and underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of getting sick with COVID-19.  

How do you get COVID-19?  How does it make you sick?

  • COVID-19 is spread through germs from people.
  • These germs can be spread when someone who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or when their germs get into the air or on things you touch.
  • If you get COVID-19, it can make you feel sick and tired and even make you go to the hospital.
  • COVID-19 has made many people sick, especially people with disabilities and health conditions.
  • Some of the things that happen when you have COVID-19 are:
    • Have a cough
    • Have a hard time breathing
    • Run a fever
    • Feel achy and tired

I have a disability. Why am I at a higher risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19? 

1 in 3 people in South Carolina has a disability (Source 1 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people with 1 or more medical conditions are 1.5 times more likely to die from COVID-19 (Source 2 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). People with disabilities may have a higher risk of getting very sick or dying if they get COVID-19 because:

  • The type of disability you have can make you very sick if you get COVID-19.
  • Your disability might mean you have a weaker immune system.
  • COVID-19 can make the symptoms you already have get worse.
  • If you have a breathing disability, getting COVID-19 can make it a lot harder to breathe.
  • You may have limited mobility or cannot avoid coming into close contact with others who may be infected, such as direct support providers and family members.
  • You may have a hard time understanding information about COVID-19.
  • You may have difficulty washing your hands and staying at least 6 feet away from others to protect yourself from COVID-19.
  • You may not be able to communicate or explain how you are feeling.
  • Social factors may increase your risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

What social reasons put me at risk because of my disability? 

Many other reasons may put you at an increased risk, such as where you live, lack of access to medical care, costs of medical care, the type of disability you have. Please see below for some examples: 

Where you Live

  • You might live far away from COVID-19 vaccination centers, testing sites, doctors’ offices, and other medical help.
  • If you live in a care facility, you are more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19 and more than four times as likely to get COVID-19 than people with disabilities who do not live in a care facility.
  • You may live in an area that does not have public transportation and/or do not have your transportation.
  • If you live far away from your doctor, you might not get help until much later. 

What can you do? You can call the SC Disability Vaccine Access Hotline to get help getting a ride to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Access to Medical Care

People with disabilities are at higher risk because going to the doctor’s and getting care can be more challenging. Below are some of the reasons why going to the doctor’s can be harder for people with disabilities. 

  • You may not have been able to get to medical exams because the doctor’s office is not accessible. 
  • You may not have received proper care because the devices or medical table were not accessible.
  • You may have felt like the nurses, doctors, or other medical staff had a negative attitude toward your or your disability.
  • You may have had a hard time understanding what your doctor or medical staff were telling you.
  • You may have felt your disability was ignored. 
  • You may have felt that the doctor or medical staff didn’t understand your disability.
  • You may have gone to the doctor before and felt they didn’t know how to care for you. 
  • You may have felt that you did not get the treatment you needed.

Costs

  • You might not have health insurance. 
  • Without insurance, you might be less likely to go to the doctor or hospital because of the cost.
  • You may have other costs like childcare, transportation, parking, or missing work that might make it harder to get to a free COVID-19 testing or vaccination site.

Your type of disability, where you live, access to care, and cost are all things that might keep you away from the doctor or a free testing site. 

  • If you can’t get tested, you don’t know if you have COVID-19.
  • If you don’t know if you have COVID-19, you can accidentally give COVID-19 to other people.
  • If you don’t know you have COVID-19, you might get very sick before getting help.
  • You might not want to go to the doctor. If you don’t go to the doctor, you might not learn you are sick until much later, when you could be much sicker and have a hard time getting better.

It is important that people with disabilities who are at high risk get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can.

How do I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Stay away from large groups of people.
  • Wear a face mask when you are around other people. 
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccines: What are they? Why are they important?

What is a COVID-19 vaccine?

A vaccine is a type of shot with medicine. The medicine in a COVID-19 vaccine fights the virus and helps protect you from getting sick.

Why are people getting a vaccine?

People get a vaccine to make it easier for their body to fight COVID-19. 

What COVID-19 vaccines are available in the United States?

In the United States, the vaccines that have been approved are: 

  1. Pfizer BioNTech
  2. Moderna
  3. Johnson & Johnson (J&J)
  4. Novavax 

The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control for people 6 months and older (Source 56 – Centers for Disease Control, 2022).

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control for people 18 years and older and children ages 6 months and older(Source 56 – Centers for Disease Control, 2022). 

J&J has been approved under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for individuals 18 and older.

Novavax has been approved under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for individuals 18 and older (Source 61- FDA, 2022, Source 67- Centers for Disease Control, 2022).

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective; they have been evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials (Source 60 – Centers for Disease Control, 2022).

Vaccines are available to people ages 6 months and older

  • Children ages 6 months to 17 years:
    • Pfizer BioNTech
    • Moderna 
  • Adults ages 18 and older
    • Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and booster(s)
    • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and booster(s)
  • Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and booster
  • Novavax COVID-19 vaccine  

What is emergency use authorization?

An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) happens when supplies or medicine like a vaccine are needed quickly in an emergency. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is an example of an emergency.

  • In an emergency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the power to approve a vaccine quickly.
  • In an emergency, the supplies or medicine will help prevent a specific disease like COVID-19.
  • This does not mean that important steps were skipped in making the vaccines safe.

Is it true that the vaccine has the virus in it?

No, none of the COVID-19 vaccines approved in the United States contain the live virus. All three vaccines give your immune system the tools it needs to attack the COVID-19 virus. Each vaccine does this in different ways. 

What is a Viral Vector vaccine, and how does it work?

J&J’s vaccine is a viral vector vaccine.

  • When making viral vector vaccines, scientists use a harmless virus to carry information to the body.
  • The body makes a harmless piece of protein, and your immune system then makes antibodies in response.
  • This teaches your body how to protect you against future infections.
  • The harmless virus and the protein it makes cannot make you sick.
  • After the J&J vaccine, your immune system can make antibodies to protect against COVID-19 infection.
  • You are not injected with the COVID-19 virus.

Is the J&J Vaccine Safe?

Scientists recommend Moderna and Pfizer’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and boosters over Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine and booster. An mRNA type of COVID-19 vaccine and booster is your safest option unless your doctor says you should not have an mRNA vaccine.

Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine and boosters will remain available:

  • If you had a severe reaction after an mRNA vaccine dose
  • If you have a severe allergy to an ingredient of Pfizer or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines)
  • If Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are not available to you
  • If you want to get the J&J COVID-19 vaccine, even though scientists recommend Pfizer or Moderna

What is a protein subunit vaccine, and how does it work? 

Novavax is a protein subunit vaccine. 

  • When making protein subunit vaccines, scientists only use parts of the virus that do the best job of getting your immune system going. 
  • This type of vaccine contains S proteins that are harmless. 
  • When your body recognizes the proteins, in response, your immune system makes antibodies and white blood cells (Source 62 – Mayo Clinic, 2022). 
  • This type of vaccine has been used for many years. Examples include flu, Hepatitis B, and Whooping Cough vaccines (Source 63 – Centers for Disease Control 2022). 
  • This type of vaccine is different from the mRNA and Viral Vector vaccines because it contains something called an adjuvant (Source 64 – Yale Medicine). 
  • An adjuvant is an ingredient used to increase your immune system’s response. They have been used for many years in a variety of vaccines and are very safe (Source 65 – Centers for Disease Control, 2022).

What is an mRNA vaccine, and how does it work?

Moderna and Pfizer are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.

  • These vaccines deliver a tiny piece of safe genetic material from the virus to cells in the body.
  • This material gives instructions for making copies of something called spike proteins.
  • Spike proteins stimulate an immune response and produce antibodies.
  • If your body is infected with the virus, your cells will remember and plan how to respond (Source 5 – Katella, 2021).
  • After the spike protein is made, our body breaks down the mRNA and removes it.
  • mRNA vaccines do not and can’t change or interact with your DNA.
  • mRNA vaccines do not go to where DNA is located in our bodies (Source 6 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • Even though this type of vaccine is new, research and development on it have been going on for over 50 years (Source 7 – Dolgin, 2021).
  • The vaccines went through the same development and steps as other vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly to save lives.

Why are the COVID-19 vaccine & boosters important for people with disabilities? 

People with disabilities may have a higher risk of getting very sick or dying if they get COVID-19. This is because of many possible reasons listed below:

  • The type of disability you have can make you very sick if you get COVID-19.
  • Your disability might mean you have a weaker immune system.
  • COVID-19 can make the symptoms you already have get worse.
  • If you have a breathing disability, getting COVID-19 can make it a lot harder to breathe.
  • You may have limited mobility or cannot avoid coming into close contact with others who may be infected, such as direct support providers and family members.
  • You may have a hard time understanding information about COVID-19.
  • You may have a hard time washing your hands and staying at least 6 feet away from others to protect yourself from COVID-19.
  • You may not be able to communicate or explain how you are feeling.
  • Social reasons may increase your risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

People with disabilities at high risk must get the COVID-19 vaccine and follow up with their booster shots as soon as possible (Source 3 – International Disability Alliance, 2020). 

COVID-19 is dangerous.  The vaccine is not. The effects of COVID-19 are worse than the vaccine’s side effects (Source 10 – Rosenblum et al., 2021).

You should talk to your doctor if you think you may have a high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.

What if I’m allergic to other vaccines? 

You should still consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine even if you have allergies to other vaccines. If you have had an allergic reaction to other vaccines, talk with your doctor as the COVID-19 vaccine may be very different. 

  • Pfizer & Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines (mRNA) (Source 11 – Warren et al., 2021)
    • Studies show that most allergic reactions to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are related to an ingredient used in the vaccine called Polyethylene Glycol (PEG).
    • Most allergic reactions are to PEG, not the mRNA.
  • Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 Vaccines (Source 12 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021)
    • For Johnson and Johnson, the ingredient that causes the most allergic reactions is Polysorbate.
  • Novavax COVID-19 Vaccines
    • Polysorbate is also an ingredient in the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine (Source 66 – Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre). 

PEG and Polysorbate are common ingredients in vaccines.  PEG is a common ingredient in Gatorade or Miralax. Both of these ingredients have been known to cause allergic reactions in some people. Most people are not allergic to PEG or Polysorbate. 

If you know you are allergic to one ingredient in the vaccines, ask your doctor if another vaccine would be better for you. You may still be able to get the vaccine because there are different kinds of vaccines (Source 12 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). 

You should still get the vaccine if you have other non-medical allergies, such as allergies to some foods, animals, or environments (Source 12 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).  

If you are worried about allergies, you should ask your doctor if it is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

What are booster shots, and should I get one if I’ve already had the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • COVID-19 booster shots are doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that will make sure your first round of vaccine is strong for a longer amount of time.
  • Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson boosters all include the same ingredients as their original vaccines.
  • It is common for vaccines get weaker over time.
  • This could mean you’re less protected against virus variants. These variants can be easier to get and spread than the original virus.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe sickness, keep you out of the hospital, and prevent death
  • Even though vaccines work, we are starting to see less protection against getting sick (Source 13 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • People with disabilities are at increased risk of getting very sick or dying from COVID19. Getting booster shots can help protect you better.
  • Many vaccines that you had in the past include booster shots. You get booster shots after your first chickenpox, tetanus, mumps and measles, and others.

Who should get a booster shot?

Everyone 5 years and older should get 1 booster shot after completing their COVID-19 vaccine primary series. Your vaccine primary series is either one shot of J&J or 2 shots of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

You should get 2 booster shots if you are:

  • 50 years and older
  • 12 years and older and you have a weakened immune system
  • People who got 2 doses (1 primary dose and 1 booster) of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. (Source 13)

Which booster shot(s) should I get?

A single booster shot is recommended for everyone 5 years old and older.

  • If you are 5 to 17 years old, you can get the Pfizer booster shot.
  • If you are 18 years old or older, you can get any booster shot.

A second booster shot is recommended for everyone 50 years old and older.

  • If you are 50 years old or older, you can get two mRNA booster shots.
  • If you are 12 years old or older and have a moderately or severely compromised immune system, you are also eligible to get a second mRNA booster shot.

When should I get a booster shot?

It depends on which vaccine you originally had.

  • If you got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine you have to wait at least 5 months after your primary vaccine series for your first booster shot.
  • If you received the J&J vaccine, you can get a booster at least 2 months if you are 18 years or older (Source 11 – U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2021).
  • Second booster shots are only available in mRNA vaccines Moderna and Pfizer. After your first booster shot, those who qualify must wait at least 4 months for your second booster shot.

If you have had an allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine ingredient in the past, then your doctor may tell you to not get that vaccine. If you have been instructed not to get one type of COVID-19 vaccine, you may still be able to get another type. Talk to your doctor to find out if it is safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster.

What is the difference between booster shots and additional doses for people with disabilities?

A booster shot is given months after your primary vaccine series of the COVID-19 vaccine because you become less protected against getting sick over time (Source 17 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).

An additional dose is different from a booster shot. If your disability causes a weakened immune system, you may need a third dose in your primary mRNA vaccine series. Additional doses can make your immune system’s response to the COVID-19 vaccine better (Source 18 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). 

The additional dose is available for people 5 years and older with weakened immune systems. Talk to your doctor or trusted medical professional to learn if an additional dose is right for you.

People with weakened immune systems should get:

  • Primary Vaccine Series:
    • Pfizer for ages 6 months and up
      • Dose 1
      • Dose 2
      • Dose 3 (“additional dose”)
    • Moderna for ages 6 months and up
      • Dose 1
      • Dose 2
      • Dose 3 (“additional dose”)
    • Booster Shots:
      • Pfizer for ages 5 to 17
        • First Booster Shot
      • Pfizer or Moderna for ages 18 and up
        • First Booster Shot
        • Second Booster Shot

Why should I ask my family members, friends, and care providers to get the COVID-19 vaccine & booster(s)?

Sometimes the type of help you need can put you at a higher risk of getting COVID-19. For example, you might be at more risk of getting COVID-19 if you have one of the following: 

  • You must come in close contact with others who help you, such as direct care providers, personal caregivers, teachers, and family members. People near you could have COVID-19 and spread it to you.
  • You have trouble understanding information or practicing safety skills, such as hand washing, wearing a mask, and social distancing.
  • You are not able to communicate when you are feeling sick.

To help keep you healthy, your family, teachers, personal caregivers, direct care providers, and others who support you should get the COVID-19 vaccine! 

COVID-19 Vaccination & Booster Timeline:

Pfizer Vaccine (mRNA)

For Ages 6 months to 4 years:

Primary vaccine series:

  • 3 total shots
  • First 2 shots given 3 to 8 weeks apart*
  • Third shot is given 8 weeks after 2nd shot

For Ages 5 and Up:

Primary vaccine series:

  • First 2 shots given 3 to 8 weeks apart*

Moderna Vaccine (mRNA)

For Ages 6 Months and Up:

Primary vaccine series:

  • First 2 shots given 4 weeks to 8 weeks apart*

J&J Vaccine (viral vector)

For Ages 18 and Up:

One dose primary vaccine:

  • 1 shot

Novavax (protein subunit)

For Ages 18 and Up:

Primary vaccine series:

  • 2 total shots given 3 weeks apart

Booster Shots:

For Ages 5 and Up:

1st Booster:

  • You can get a booster shot 5 months after your primary series or 2 months after your J&J vaccine.
    • This booster shot can be Pfizer, Moderna or J&J
      • Pfizer for ages 5 and up
      • Moderna or J&J for ages 18 and up

For Ages 50 and Up OR Immunocompromised people over 12:

2nd Booster:

  • You can get another booster shot at least 4 months after your first booster.
    • For ages 50 and up, this second booster shot can be Pfizer or Moderna.
    • For ages 12 and up with compromised immune systems, this second booster shot can be Pfizer.

*A longer time between the 1st and 2nd shot may give you more protection and minimize rare side effects. Talk to your doctor about the timing for the 2nd dose in your primary series.

Talk to your doctor about which booster shot is right for you and the best time to get yours (Source 68 – Centers for Disease Control, 2022).

How do I schedule my COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots?

The South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline can help you schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

  • The South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline can help people with disabilities, families, and caregivers.
  • You can reach the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046

You can also schedule your COVID-19 vaccine online or by phone through your local health department or pharmacy. In South Carolina, you can search for vaccine locations at the DHEC Vaccine Locator (Source 19 – South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, n.d.). If you need help, the South Carolina Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046 can help you schedule your vaccine, additional shot, and booster.

Safety & Trust: Nervous? Trust these facts.

SAFETY: I have a disability, and I’m nervous about the vaccine. How do I know it’s safe and works for me?

COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to protect yourself from getting very sick or dying from COVID-19. The effects of COVID-19 can be much worse for a person with a disability than any of the side effects from the vaccine (Source 10 – Rosenblum et al., 2021).

People with disabilities are often much safer if they get the vaccine. The vaccines do not give you COVID-19. 

Getting COVID-19 is much worse than any vaccine side effects. 

Let’s learn about normal side effects you may have from getting vaccinated and why the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for everyone, including people with disabilities.

Are there side effects from the shot?  

Some people might experience side effects from the shot, and others will not.

  • Side effects might include pain, redness, or swelling where you received the shot.
  • Other side effects you might have are:
    • fever
    • pain
    • chills
    • headache
    • nausea

If you have any of these side effects, it can mean the vaccine is working. Your body is learning to protect itself against COVID-19. Side effects should go away after a few days. If you are worried about any side effects you have, you should contact your doctor. 

When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you can sign up for V-Safe. V-Safe is an after-vaccine health checker app available for smartphones (Source 20 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).  

I worry about how the vaccines will impact my disability and health condition. Why should I get vaccinated?

Without the COVID-19 vaccine, you are at the most significant risk of getting very sick, going to the hospital, and dying. 

People with disabilities may have a higher risk of getting very sick or dying if they get COVID-19 (Source 21 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). This is because of many possible reasons listed below:

  • The type of disability you have can make you very sick if you get COVID-19.
  • Your disability might mean you have a weaker immune system.
  • COVID-19 can make the symptoms you already have get worse.
  • If you have a breathing disability, getting COVID-19 can make it a lot harder to breathe.

I heard the vaccines give you the COVID-19 virus. Is that true?

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines approved in the United States contain the live virus. The vaccines approved in the United States are the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna vaccine, Novavax vaccine, and the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. The shots do not use the live virus. They can’t make you sick with COVID-19 (Source 22 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). 

Why should I bother getting vaccinated if I can still get COVID-19? 

In most cases, the COVID-19 shot will prevent you from becoming sick and going to the hospital if you test positive for the virus.

  • Most of the people who are in the hospital with COVID-19 have not been fully vaccinated. This means they have not received all of the recommended doses of the shot.
  • You can still catch the virus from someone after you get the shot. This is called a breakthrough infection.
  • If you got the shot and still get COVID-19, you will most likely have mild symptoms. The vaccine helps you not get as sick as you could if you were not vaccinated. 
  • Getting vaccinated is your best chance at protecting yourself from getting very sick, going to the hospital, or dying from COVID-19 (Source 23 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021)  

I’ve already had COVID-19, so why should I get the vaccine?

It is possible to become sick with COVID-19 more than once. Scientists learned getting the shot may better protect you from COVID-19 (Source 24 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).

  • After getting sick with COVID-19, you may have “natural immunity.”
  • Natural immunity from COVID-19 happens when your body produces antibodies to fight off COVID-19 after you have been exposed to or gotten sick with the virus.
  • This natural immunity does not last very long.
  • Natural immunity may not protect you from COVID-19 variants (Source 18 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • Consider getting your COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself and your community.

TRUST: I don’t trust the information I’m getting about vaccines. Why should I trust the vaccine now?

Your doctor may have told initially you to wait to get vaccinated. We know COVID-19 vaccines are safe for many people with disabilities.

Some people are still worried about trusting the vaccine, especially if they have a disability. Let’s talk about common questions about vaccine trust:

I heard the vaccine was made quickly. Why should I trust it?

The three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) were developed in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. A pandemic is a widespread sickness that affects the whole world. 

  • Research that led to these types of vaccines has been going on for over 50 years.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine went through the same steps as other vaccines. 
  • The COVID-19 vaccines were just made quickly to save lives.
  • COVID-19 vaccines were made thanks to funding and scientists around the world working together (Source 22 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and are proven to work for people with disabilities (Source 25 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • People with disabilities are at greater risk for getting sick and dying from COVID-19 due to their medical conditions, group living settings, or issues in the health and social systems that are not fair or equal (Source 25 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • Consider getting vaccinated to protect yourself and your community.

Why should I trust the vaccine is safe for me?

Due to past and present discrimination, people with disabilities might not trust medical companies or politicians who encourage vaccination. Even though you may not trust medical companies or politicians, COVID-19 vaccines protect the disability community. (Source 26 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021)

  • You might be afraid to get the vaccine because of information that isn’t true.
  • You may have experienced trauma from the medical care you’ve received. Trauma can include serious physical or emotional harm.
  • You may be worried because information about your disability may not be included in what you’ve learned about the vaccination.
  • Maybe you’re worried because the scientists keep changing the information. 
  • Maybe you have read one thing about COVID-19, but a new thing you’ve read says something different.
  • Maybe the information is not shared in a way that you can understand.

It can be hard to know what’s right or wrong. Here are the facts about the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Evidence shows these vaccines are safe for people without and with disabilities (Source 26 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • The vaccines help slow the spread of COVID-19 and lower the chances of getting very sick or dying from COVID-19.
  • Many independent groups, including those led by doctors of color, have done their work to test the vaccines. They say the vaccines work and are safe (Source 27 – National Medical Association, 2020).
  • Many government officials, including all living U.S. presidents and current governors, got COVID-19 vaccines (Source 29 – Link, 2021).

How does knowing someone who has already gotten their shot, and is doing well, encourage me to get the vaccine?

  • The COVID-19 vaccine has been available since 2020. This means you probably know one or more people who have gotten it and are doing well. This is good news for a few reasons:
    • If you are nervous, it gives you someone to talk to about how it went for them. 
    • Any common side effects they had will give you an idea of what might happen when you get the shot.
    • If they are a person with a disability, they can share how they found an accessible vaccine site.
    • Hearing about another person’s experience might help to give you confidence.
    • You might not know that you know someone who’s gotten the shot, but don’t be afraid to ask around. 
    • Having friends and family you know you can trust to talk about it goes a long way to help you feel more confident about getting the shot.

Protect Yourself & Others: What about at-risk groups?

Variant Facts

What is a COVID-19 variant? 

A COVID-19 variant is a version of the COVID-19 virus that’s just a little different from the version before it.  Some of the most common differences are that COVID-19 variants can spread faster and more easily and can also make you sicker.  For example, the Alpha variant spread just a little faster than the original version of the COVID-19 virus (Source 30 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).   

Two of the variants that you might hear a lot about are the Delta and Omicron variants. That is because both of these variants spread easily and can make you very sick.  

Variants of viruses are common, and the CDC tells us these variants were expected.  People with disabilities are at a higher risk of getting COVID-19 and they are also at higher risk of getting COVID-19 variants. 

As a person with a disability, how can I protect myself from COVID-19 variants? 

The best way for people with disabilities to protect themselves from COVID-19 variants is by getting a vaccine. A vaccine may not stop you from getting sick, but it will help lower the risk that you will get very sick and go to the hospital with a COVID-19 variant.   

If you have already gotten your vaccine, getting a booster shot is another way you can help protect yourself from COVID-19 variants. This makes your immune system stronger to fight the virus. 

Wearing a mask also lowers your risk of getting COVID-19 and all of the COVID-19 variants (Source 30 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).  

Talk to your doctor, or another medical provider you trust, about which COVID-19 vaccine is the best for you. If you need help scheduling your vaccine or have questions, you can call the Disability Vaccine Access Hotline. You should also make sure to wear masks anytime you’re inside in a public place and wash your hands often. 

I’m concerned about the vaccine for people in my life. How does it impact children, older adults, or pregnant people, including those with disabilities? 

Can children get the vaccine?

Yes, children can get the vaccine, including children with disabilities (Source 31 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). 

Vaccines are available to people ages 6 months and older:

  • Children ages 6 months to 17 years
    • Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
    • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine boosters are also available to people ages 5 and older:

  • Children ages 5 to 17 years old
    • Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and booster

The Johnson & Johnson and Novavax COVID-19 vaccines are not authorized for people under 18 years of age.

  • Adults ages 18 and older
    • Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and booster(s)
    • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and booster(s)
    • Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and booster
    • Novavax COVID-19 vaccine  
  • Food and Drug Administration research shows that the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine caused an immune response in ages 6 months to 4 years of age comparable to that of older adults (Source 59 – Food & Drug Administration, 2022).
  • Research also shows that the immune response for the Moderna vaccine in children was comparable to the immune response to that of adults (Source 59 – Food & Drug Administration, 2022). 
  • At this time, the vaccine has not caused any severe side effects in children. Those side effects reported have been mild and are usually more common with the second shot (Source 58 – Centers for Disease Control, 2022)
  • Without vaccination, children risk having serious long-term or lifelong health effects from COVID-19, hospitalization, or death. This risk is greater for children with disabilities. The CDC recommends vaccination as soon as possible to protect all young children from COVID 19 (Source 58 – Centers for Disease Control, 2022).
  • Children who get the vaccine are less likely to miss school due to COVID-19 because they are less likely to get sick (Source 32 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • Vaccination slows the spread of COVID-19. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will help protect everyone, especially children with disabilities (Source 34 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • Parents and caregivers can schedule their children for the vaccination via vaccine.gov
    • If you have a child with a disability who needs a reasonable accommodation to get the vaccine, please make sure to tell the vaccine provider when you schedule the child’s appointment.
  • A reasonable accommodation could be a quiet room or the ability to have a trusted person present (Source 32 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).

The South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline can help you schedule your child’s COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

  • The South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline can help people with disabilities, their families, and their caregivers.

You can reach the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046

Can someone be too old to get vaccinated?

No. If you are older than 6 months old, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine (Source 31 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).

Should older adults get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Yes. People 65 years of age and older are at higher risk of becoming very sick and dying from COVID-19. The vaccines are 94% effective at protecting older adults from severe sickness and death (Source 35 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021 and Source 36 – Administration for Community Living, 2021).

Should people living in nursing or group homes get vaccinated?

Yes, people living in group care facilities—such as nursing or group homes—should especially get vaccinated against COVID-19.  A lot of people have died from COVID-19 who were living in a group home or nursing home. It is hard to protect yourself if you live with people and new staff are coming in and out of your home.  People ages 65 and older and those with disabilities are at higher risk of having to go to the hospital for help or dying from COVID-19. For individuals who are living in facilities, the risk of catching the virus is higher. Statistics show that over a third of all COVID-related deaths were of people who lived in facilities (Source 37 – United States Department of Justice, 2021, Source 38 – New York Times, 2021, Source 39 – Administration for Community Living, 2021). 

I’m thinking about having kids. I heard the COVID-19 vaccine can make me unable to have children. Is this true?

No. There is no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19, cause fertility problems or becoming pregnant in people with or without disabilities.

  • Many people have become pregnant and had healthy births after getting their vaccine, including people with disabilities.
  • Some people that received vaccines during the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials became pregnant and had healthy babies.
  • Antibodies made after vaccination will not cause problems with fertility or becoming pregnant.
  • Vaccine ingredients do not cause problems with fertility or getting pregnant (Source 40 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).

If I’m pregnant or breastfeeding, should I get vaccinated? 

Yes. The CDC recommends all people ages 6 months and older get the vaccine. This includes people who are pregnant and disabled people who are pregnant.

  • Someone pregnant has a higher chance of getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • Someone who is pregnant and gets COVID-19 has a higher chance of going to the hospital than someone who is not pregnant (Source 41 – Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, 2021)
  • COVID-19 is more dangerous for pregnant people with disabilities (Source 42 – Satin & Sheffield, 2021).

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and a person with a disability, you can likely get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here is the good news:

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe for both the pregnant person and baby before birth, including those with disabilities.
  • People who receive the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines when pregnant build antibodies that may protect the baby from COVID-19.
  • People who are breastfeeding and vaccinated can pass good protective antibodies to their baby through their breast milk. This may protect the baby from COVID-19 (Source 43 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).

Direct Service Providers, Teachers, & Family: Why should I get vaccinated?

I have family and friends with disabilities. Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. The CDC recommends all people ages 6 months and older get the vaccine. This includes you! But there are many reasons, you should especially get vaccinated for the people with disabilities around you. Below are some reasons why you should be vaccinated.

  • Some of your family and friends with disabilities may be at higher risk of getting COVID-19, becoming very sick, and dying (Source 17 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021)
  • If you are living with someone with a disability or are offering care that is in close contact, you can easily spread COVID-19 to them, if you are infected. 
  • Vaccination decreases the spread of COVID-19. Decreasing the spread of COVID-19 protects others, especially those with disabilities who are considered high risk (Source 34 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • People get a vaccine to protect themselves from getting COVID-19. If you don’t get sick, you won’t spread the disease. 
  • The vaccine makes it easier for your body to fight COVID-19. If it is easier for your body to fight infection, then you could resume being near a person with a disability who may be considered high risk much sooner. 
  • COVID-19 is dangerous. The vaccine is not. The effects of COVID-19 can make you and those you may care for very sick and even cause death. The side effects of a vaccine are temporary, if you experience any at all (Source 10 – Rosenblum et al., 2021).
  • To keep the people with disabilities in your life healthy, you should get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

If you have any questions at all about the vaccine, please talk with your doctor to decide what’s best for you.

I am a direct service provider /teacher for people with disabilities. Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. The CDC recommends all people ages 6 months and older get the vaccine. This includes you! But because you work with people with disabilities, you should especially get the vaccine to help protect them from getting sick or even dying. Below are a few other reasons why you may want to consider the vaccine.

  • Direct service providers and teachers are at greater risk of being infected with COVID-19 because they work with people with disabilities. People with disabilities often have many different service providers working with them which increases the risk of spreading COVID-19 to them. 
  • Caregivers and teachers are in the same risk category for COVID-19 as other healthcare workers. 
  • People with disabilities are at higher risk of getting COVID-19, becoming very sick, and dying. 
  • Sometimes the type of help you offer can put you and the people you care for or teach at a higher risk of getting COVID-19. This is especially true if you work closely with the person.
  • People get a vaccine to protect themselves from getting COVID-19. If you don’t get sick, you won’t spread the disease.
  • The vaccine makes it easier for their body to fight COVID-19 should you still become infected. If it is easier for your body to fight infection, then you can resume your job sooner.
  • COVID-19 is dangerous. The vaccine is not. The effects of COVID-19 can make you and those you care for very sick and even cause death. The side effects of a vaccine are temporary, if you experience any at all (Source 10 – Rosenblum et al., 2021)
  • It is important to protect yourself and those you work with by getting vaccinated. Vaccination can keep you and the people you care for out of harm from COVID-19 (Source 34 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • For more information, please see the CDC’s guidance for Direct Service Providers

I’ve already had COVID-19, so why should I get the vaccine?

It is possible to become sick with COVID-19 more than once. Research shows getting the shot will protect you from COVID-19 better than natural immunity (Source 24 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). 

  • After getting sick with COVID-19, you may have “natural immunity.”
  • Natural immunity from COVID-19 happens when your body produces antibodies to fight off COVID-19 after you have been exposed to or gotten sick with the virus.
  • This natural immunity does not last very long.
  • Natural immunity may not protect you from COVID-19 variants (Source 18 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • Get your COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself and your community.

What is a booster shot and should I get one?     

  • Studies have shown that after getting the vaccine, your protection against the virus may decrease over time.
  • This could mean you’re less protected against virus variants. These variants can be easier to get and spread than the original virus.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death
  • Even though vaccines work, we are starting to see less protection against getting and spreading sickness (Source 13 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
  • People with disabilities are at increased risk of getting very sick or dying from COVID19. Getting a booster shot can help protect you and the people with disabilities around you, better.
  • Talk to your doctor about which booster shot is right for you, and when is the best time to get one.

How do I schedule my COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot?

The South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline can help you schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment and answer any question you may have. We can also do the same for the people you assist.

  • The South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline can help people with disabilities, their families, and their caregivers.
  • You can reach the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046. 

It is also possible to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine online or by phone through your local health department or pharmacy. In South Carolina, you can search for vaccine locations at the DHEC Vaccine Locator (Source 19 – South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, n.d.). If you need help, the South Carolina Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046 can help you schedule your vaccine and booster.

Barriers: Don’t let these stop you from getting vaccinated.

COST: I have a fixed income. What is the vaccination going to cost me?

Is the COVID-19 vaccine free?     

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are 100% free to all people in the United States. The vaccines are free because the federal government has agreed to pay back providers of COVID-19 vaccines (Source 44 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). 

COVID-19 vaccines are completely free to people with and without health insurance (Source 45 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).

It is against the law for someone giving the vaccine to:

  • Charge you money for a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Charge you money for any fees, co-pays, or coinsurance.
  • Refuse to give you a vaccine because you have no health insurance or are out of network.
  • Charge you money for an office visit if the only service was a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Require that you get any other services when receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you do get other services, those services can be billed as usual.
  • People might tell you that you have to pay for your vaccine, but they are wrong.

If someone tells you that you need to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine, you can contact the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046. 

You can also report the person or office to the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS or the website TIPS.HHS.GOV (Source 46 – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2021).              

Do I get paid leave for missing work to get the vaccine?

No. In South Carolina, employers do not have to give paid leave so that employees can get vaccinated. 

  • The American Rescue Plan Act offered to pay back employers for paid leave.
  • This repayment applied to companies with less than 500 employees.
  • Not every company decided to take this funding.
  • The application window for funding closed in September 2021 (Source 47 – U.S. Department of the Treasury, 2021).

In June 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandated that employers must offer COVID-19 protections. One of these protections is paid leave for getting the vaccine (Source 48 – OSHA, 2021). 

  • The South Carolina state government has refused to enforce the mandate from OSHA.
  • SC OSHA has also refused to enforce the paid leave mandate.
  • As of October 19, 2021, OSHA has threatened to stop approval for South Carolina workplace protection plans due to a lack of COVID-19 protections (Source 44 – Chhetri, 2021).

Until these issues are decided, ask your employer if they offer paid leave or help to get the COVID-19 vaccine. If your employer does not offer this, you should still make a plan to get your shot. You can get help making your vaccine plan from the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046.

TRANSPORTATION: I don’t have a car or don’t drive. How am I supposed to get a vaccine?

  • Starting in October 2021, The COMET introduced its LifeLine program for low-income residents of Richland County. This program offers a thirty-one-day transit pass that can be used to get to and from your COVID-19 vaccine. To learn more and see if you qualify, you can read this press release from The COMET. The program is operating until June 30, 2022.
  • Lyft is making it possible for users to pay for rides for others to get their vaccine. If you are in need of a free ride, visit this page and scroll down to select “get a ride.” You will then complete an online screening to find out if you qualify.
  • Uber is offering rides to and from your vaccine through their partner, Go Go Grandparent.  To book your ride, call (855) 921-0033, and make sure to tell the phone operator you’re booking a ride for your vaccine. These rides are not free.
  • The AARP Ride at Fifty Plus program offers rides to those fifty and older that can be used to get your COVID-19 vaccine. Call (855) 955-1926 to learn more or book your ride. These rides are not free.

The South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline can help you arrange transportation. You can reach the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046.

ACCESSIBILITY: I’m worried I won’t be able to access the vaccine site due to my disability.

The South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline can help you find sites that are accessible to your needs. You can reach the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046. 

Have you been to a vaccine site that was or was not accessible to you? We encourage you to report it so our hotline workers can inform other people with disabilities!

What accessibility accommodations can I ask for as a person with a disability? 

Because of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, people with disabilities are guaranteed certain accommodations when getting their COVID-19 vaccine (Source 50 – Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990).  These accommodations include:

  • Vaccine sites that are accessible to people with physical disabilities.
  • Access to American Sign Language, ASL, interpreters.
  • Vaccine materials that include accessible formats, including:
    • Braille
    • Large print
    • Digital
    • Plain language/easy read

If you have not been given access to accommodations at a vaccination site, please contact the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046, and let us know.

I am unable to leave my home. How will I get vaccinated?

SC DHEC is offering in-home vaccination in all South Carolina counties.

  • You can call DHEC’s Vaccine Information Line to schedule an appointment, or the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline can contact them with you. 
  • You can call the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046
  • You can call DHEC’s Vaccine Information Line at 866-365-8110 every day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. 
  • The phone operator will ask you for your name, address, and date of birth, over the phone.
  • This information will be given to the vaccine provider. Someone who works for the provider should contact you within 2 weeks to schedule your appointment (Source 51 – South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, 2021).

Rights: What are my rights to access vaccines?

People with disabilities have many laws that protect their rights. These rights mean that people cannot treat you badly just because of who you are as a person with a disability. You have the same rights to vaccines as people without disabilities. 

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that you cannot be treated unfairly because you have a disability. The ADA requires public and state agencies to provide accommodations, so people with disabilities have the same access to services as people without disabilities. The ADA also requires that agencies make sure that these accommodations are available for people with disabilities to get information in a way that meets their needs. This includes any type of equipment to provide services and accessible technology like websites (Source 50 – Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990).
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a national law that protects people with disabilities from being treated unfairly because of their disability. This law applies to organizations that get financial assistance from any Federal department or agency, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This includes many hospitals, nursing homes, mental health centers, and human service programs (Source 52 – Rehabilitation Act, 1973).
  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is a national law that states that federal agencies have to provide information in a way accessible to everyone with disabilities. If you need information differently because of your disability, federal agencies have to provide this (Source 53 – Rehabilitation Act, 1973).
  • Section 1557 of the Affordable Cares Act states that you cannot be treated unfairly because of your race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. This includes making sure language assistance is available for people who speak limited English and making sure there are accommodations for people with disabilities to have access to services (Source 54 – Patient Protection and Affordable Cares Act, 2010).

If you were not treated fairly because of your disability, please contact the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046.

BIPOC: Are you a member of the BIPOC community?

Secure Your Shot: How do I Schedule my COVID-19 Vaccine & Booster Shot?

The South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline can help you schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment. You can reach the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046.

References

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, June 28). Disability & Health U.S. State Profile Data for South Carolina (Adults 18+ years of age). CDC. Retrieved November 18, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/impacts/south-carolina.html 

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, October 14). Disability & Health U.S. State Profile Data for South Carolina (Adults 18+ years of age). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 18, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-care/underlyingconditions.html#ref_15 

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International Disability Alliance. (2020, December 1). Reach the furthest behind first: Persons with disabilities must be prioritized in accessing COVID-19 vaccinations. IDA. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/sites/default/files/ida_recommendations_on_accessing_covid-19_vaccinations_final_01.12.20.pdf

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Katella, K. (2021, October 22). Comparing the COVID-19 Vaccines: How Are They Different? Yale Medicine. Retrieved on October 26, 2021, from  https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/covid-19-vaccine-comparison

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, October 18). Understanding mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mRNA.html?s_cid=11344%3Ahow+does+mrna+vaccine+work%3Asem.ga%3Ap%3ARG%3AGM%3Agen%3APTN%3AFY21

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Dolgin, E. (2021, September 14). The tangled history of mRNA vaccines. Nature. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02483-w

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, June 21). What do people with developmental disabilities need to know about COVID-19? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 18, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-developmental-disabilities.html.  

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Gleason, J., Fossi, A., Blonsky, H., Tobias, J., & Stephens, M. (2021, March 5). The Devastating Impact of Covid-19 on Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in the United States. NEJM Catalyst. https://catalyst.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/CAT.21.0051.    

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Warren, C. M., Snow, T. T., & Lee, A. S. (2021, September 17). Assessment of Allergic and Anaphylactic Reactions to mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines With Confirmatory Testing in a US Regional Health System. JAMA Network, 4(9). https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.25524

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, March 25). COVID-19 Vaccines for People with Allergies. CDC. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/specific-groups/allergies.html?s_cid=10480:covid%20vaccine%20allergy:sem.ga:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN:FY21

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, October 22). Who Is Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot? CDC. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, January 26). Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination. CDC. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mmr/public/index.html

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, January 22). Tetanus Vaccination. CDC.  Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/tetanus/index.html

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, October 1). COVID-19 Vaccination Considerations for Persons with Underlying Medical Conditions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/underlying-conditions.html

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South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. (n.d.). DHEC Vaccine Locator. SC DHEC. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov/

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, August 9). Register for V-safe. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/register-for-v-safe.html.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, Oct 4). Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, September 15). Finding Credible Vaccine Information. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 18, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/evalwebs.htm

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Link, D. (2021, September 3). Fact check: ‘who’s vaccinated?’ all living presidents, governors; not most covid-19 victims. USA Today. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/09/02/fact-check-viral-post-vaccinated-politicians-doctors-little-off/5670809001/.  

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, Oct 21). COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/adolescents.html?s_cid=11370:covid%20vaccine%20approved%20for%20kids:sem.ga:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN:FY21

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Administration for Community Living. (2021, November 11). Strategies for Helping Older Adults and People with Disabilities Access COVID-19 Vaccines. Administration for Community Living. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://acl.gov/sites/default/files/2021-04/ACLStrategiesVaccineAccess_Final.pdf 

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United States Department of Justice. (2021, April 2). Statement by the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Leading a Coordinated Civil Rights Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/statement-principal-deputy-assistant-attorney-general-civil-rights-leading-coordinated-civil 

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​​New York Times. (2021, June 1). Nearly One-Third of U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Are Linked to Nursing Homes. New York Times. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-nursing-homes.html 

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Administration for Community Living. (2021, November 11). Strategies for Helping Older Adults and People with Disabilities Access COVID-19 Vaccines. Administration for Community Living. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://acl.gov/sites/default/files/2021-04/ACLStrategiesVaccineAccess_Final.pdf 

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, August 11). COVID-19 Vaccines for People Who Would Like to Have a Baby. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/planning-for-pregnancy.html

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Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine. (2021, October 5). COVID-19 Vaccination if You Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.smfm.org/media/3172/COVID_vaccine__Patients_Oct_05_2021__Eng.pdf.

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Satin, A., & Sheffield, J. (2021, August 23). The COVID-19 vaccine and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/the-covid19-vaccine-and-pregnancy-what-you-need-to-know

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, October 19). Vaccination Considerations for People Pregnant or Breastfeeding. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, September 13). Guidance for Direct Service Providers. Retrieved November 4, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/humandevelopment/covid-19/guidance-for-direct-service-providers.html

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, May 24). Covid-19 vaccines are free to the public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/no-cost.html?s_cid=10473%3Ais+the+covid+vaccine+free+without+insurance%3Asem.ga%3Ap%3ARG%3AGM%3Agen%3APTN%3AFY21

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2021, September 15). Covid-19 care for uninsured individuals. HHS.gov. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-care-uninsured-individuals/index.html.

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U.S. Department of the Treasury. (2021, April 1). Fight COVID-19: Offer paid leave. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paid-Leave-Credit-Snapshot.pdf.  

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Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (2021, June 10). Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework

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Chhetri, D. (2021, October 19). OSHA will revoke approval of SC’s safety plan if it doesn’t include COVID-19 protections. The Greenville News. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/south-carolina/2021/10/19/osha-revoke-south-carolina-safety-plan-refuses-covid-19-protection/8527458002/

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Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (1990). https://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm.  

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South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. (2021, November 1). DHEC HOMEBOUND VACCINATION PROGRAM. SC DHEC. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/CR-012993.pdf.

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CDC Endorses ACIP’s Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations (2021, December 16).

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1216-covid-19-vaccines.html

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https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccines-children-teens.html

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Yahoo News (2022) “What Parents Should Know What Parents Should Know” https://news.yahoo.com/covid-vaccine-kids-under-5-220303088.html?guccounter=1

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Schedule Your Vaccine

Become A Champion in Your Community

Let’s protect ourselves, our family, friends, and others in the community against getting sick with COVID-19.

It can be hard to know where to find  information and help to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The SC Disability Vaccine Access Network is here to help people with disabilities and friends of the disability community plan the steps needed to get the shot, and feel confident that they have made a personal, informed decision to get the vaccine. 

Logo for DHEC

SC Department of Health and Environmental Control

Make an appointment through the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) website using their vaccine locator. 

DHEC has launched a Homebound Vaccination Program to all 46 counties. One caregiver per provider is also eligible to receive a vaccine. CALL: 1-866-365-8110 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. You will need to tell them your name, date of birth, and address to the call line operator. The operator will connect you with either RRT or LTS as the vaccine provider. A person from the provider will then call you back within a few days to schedule an appointment.

South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline

If you are not able to book an appointment online or want to get more information about the vaccine, give us a call at the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline (1-800-787-6046) to talk to our team about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Through the hotline we can:

  • Address any concerns you might have about getting the vaccine
  • Help you find a trusted medical professional 
  • Assist with vaccine appointment scheduling
  • Navigate transportation to get your vaccine
  • Answer some of the most common disability-related questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, and more. 
Disclaimer: The staff of the Disability Vaccine Access Hotline are not licensed medical providers. They are unable to offer medical advice about the best vaccine for you or tell you  how the vaccine may affect you or your family.

 

Call the Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046

Vaccine Champions

There are champions in South Carolina who have made the decision to get their vaccine to protect themselves and the community. Hear why they made the choice to secure their shot.

Resources

Help us spread the word among individuals and friends of the disability community about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine. Check out the resources below for more information on the vaccine, or download our campaign social media graphics and share them on your social media.

Report Your Accessible Site

Tell us about your accessibility experience at your vaccination site! All content will be shared with the SC Disability Vaccination Hotline to help others determine which site suits their individual needs.

Report a Denial

Were you denied a vaccine because of your disability? Call Disability Rights South Carolina for assistance immediately!

Call (866) 275-7273 to report a denial.

Vaccine Appointment Transportation

Starting in October 2021, The COMET introduced its LifeLine program for low-income residents of Richland County. This program offers a thirty-one-day transit pass that can be used to get to and from your COVID-19 vaccine. To learn more and see if you qualify, you can read this press release from The COMET. The program is operating until June 30, 2022.

Lyft is making it possible for users to pay for rides for others to get their vaccine. If you are in need of a free ride, visit this page and scroll down to select “get a ride.” You will then complete an online screening to find out if you qualify.

Uber is offering rides to and from your vaccine through their partner, Go Go Grandparent.  To book your ride, call (855) 921-0033, and make sure to tell the phone operator you’re booking a ride for your vaccine. These rides are not free.

The AARP Ride at Fifty Plus program offers rides to those fifty and older that can be used to get your COVID-19 vaccine. Call (855) 955-1926 to learn more or book your ride. These rides are not free.

The South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline can also help you arrange transportation. You can reach the South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline at 1-800-787-6046.

Funders and Partners

South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Hotline 1-800-787-6046

The SC Disability Vaccine Access Network is operated by Able South Carolina, Disability Rights South Carolina, South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council, and The University of South Carolina’s Center for Disabilities Resources within the School of Medicine. Special thanks to additional partners, Accessibility, Walton Options for Independent Living, and Family Connection of South Carolina. The SC Disability Vaccine Network is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Community Living, and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Contact Able SC

720 Gracern Rd, Suite 106, Columbia, SC 29210  |  advocacy@able-sc.org

Disclaimer:

The staff of the SC Disability Vaccine Access Network are not licensed medical providers.  They are unable to offer medical advice about the best vaccine for you or predict how the vaccine may affect you or your family. Please talk to your doctor when making informed medical decisions.