CDC: COVID-19 for Children with Disabilities

COVID-19 Guidance for Children with Disabilities from CDC

COVID-19 Poses a Greater Risk 

Several disabled children possess preexisting medical issues that pose a significant risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as: 

Lung, Heart, or Kidney Disease 

Weakened Immune System 



Blood Diseases 

Conditions of the Muscular/Central Nervous System 

Likewise, children with developmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, autism, or intellectual disabilities are more vulnerable to mental health problems as a result of social isolation and major illness caused by COVID-19. Individuals can also face challenges in getting necessary health care and other attributes that increase their risk of contracting COVID-19, like limited mobility, a need for support services, difficulties practicing preventive measures such as wearing a mask, and difficulties communicating infection symptoms. 

Seek to establish and support the following methods and vaccine adjustments to ensure that children with disabilities and special healthcare requirements, also their caregivers, service providers, and family members. They can receive their COVID-19 immunizations at the location of the clinic. 

Physical Accessibility: 

  • Make appointments for extended periods of time to ensure that children are comfortable before, during, and after vaccinations. 
  • Allow individuals to be vaccinated in their parent’s or caregivers’ vehicles, if possible. 
  • Try stationing someone at the immunization site’s entrance to assist people who require assistance with a wheelchair, walker, or other aid, as well as those who require other accommodations. 
  • Allow individuals and their families to wander around following vaccination while being supervised. 

Accessibility On a Sensory Level: 

  • Make any necessary sensory adjustments, since some individuals may be sensitive to the light, sounds, odors, or physical contact that immunization necessitates. 
  • Limit the number of times children must wait and be patient, considering each individual’s unique needs. 
  • If at all possible, provide a separate, more secluded area or “silent room” away from the masses. 

Accessibility In Terms of Cognition: 

  • Providers of vaccinations should go over every stage of what will be done and how they will be utilized. 
  • Ascertain that this material is accessible in a variety of forms and languages. A visual storyboard can aid in the understanding of vaccination in young children. 
  • To support children during and after immunization, share and use resources such as picture stories. 

You may work with others to guarantee that all children with disabilities in your community have admission to the COVID-19 vaccine, for example: 

  • Providers of pediatric medical services and healthcare organizations 
  • Department of health at the state or local level 
  • School districts in the area 
  • Clinics and practices that cater to people with disabilities 
  • Occupational, physical, and speech therapists for children 
  • Hospitals for Children 
  • Children with impairments are served by community-based groups. 

Remember that children with special needs and disabilities gain the most from team-based care. Parents and caregivers can engage with trusted healthcare providers to learn about and manage any immunization concerns.  

Vaccine Safety Inspections 

To assist in the monitoring of vaccine safety: 

Report significant health issues that occur after vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS data are reviewed by the CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration to detect any safety problems. 

Families should be encouraged to enroll their children in v-safe. v-safe offers parents tailored and anonymous health check-ins to let them know how their child is doing after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome should be reported (MIS-C). MIS-C instances should be reported to your local, state, or territorial health department. If you have any questions, call the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center at 1-770-488-7100 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Information from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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Ashlyn Pieri

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