The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is prioritizing the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona in three phases. Phase 1 has 3 distribution timeframes (A, B, C). AZ is currently in Phase 1A and 1B which includes healthcare personnel, healthcare support occupations and long-term care facility residents (and staff at these facilities), Direct Care Workers providing home and community based services to members in their own homes.
People with Down syndrome, ages 16 and older, living in congregate living arrangements (group homes) are eligible during Phase 1B which is now underway in AZ. People aged 16 and older, who have 2 or more high-risk medical conditions, as defined by the CDC, will be eligible at the beginning of Phase 1C. Down syndrome is defined as one of those high-risk medical conditions. Intellectual disability is a “neurological condition” and is another high-risk medical condition. Therefore, all people with Down syndrome, ages 16 and older, should be eligible to receive the vaccine in AZ at the beginning of Phase 1C. Below is a chart of the Vaccine Prioritization…click image to enlarge.
Currently, Maricopa County has a pre-screening tool in order to determine whether an individual meets the criteria for the Phase 1A or 1B population. Points of Dispensing (POD) sites are being established in each county. Please refer to the ADHS COVID-19 vaccine web page for county contacts and additional information about the vaccine and distribution plan. Additional links for county and clinic pre-registration and pre-screening for vaccine availability can be found at http://azhealth.gov/findvaccine
Qualified Vendors and Providers may get questions from members or their families regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The AZ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) has added a link to a COVID-19 Vaccine Information in Plain Language document created by the Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) on its Actions Related to COVID-19 web page. DDD is still awaiting confirmation on whether additional DDD members (not living in Long-Term Care Facilities) will be included among Phase 1C. Check the DDD website for additional information as it becomes available from ADHS.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, estimated that the process for approving vaccines in children will begin soon, and that research data will likely need to be reviewed by the FDA before vaccines are distributed in people younger than 16 years.