Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination delivery plan will include adults and staff in group homes for people with intellectual disabilities. This phase could begin as early as April, but it could be later if there is a vaccine shortage.
Saskatchewan Association of Rehabilitation Centres (SARC) executive director Amy McNeil said people with intellectual disabilities sometimes struggle to understand why the world has changed this past year.
“Often they don’t understand what’s leading to this, so it can be very difficult for an individual to recognize the magnitude of the situation and the pandemic itself,” McNeil said.
Prior to Monday’s announcement, McNeil was very concerned people with intellectual disabilities weren’t made a priority to receiving vaccines in the province. She explained there are many factors putting people with intellectual disabilities at high risk for contracting COVID-19, including living in group homes.
McNeil also said people with intellectual disabilities are often immunocompromised, making the COVID-19 mortality rate higher than most people without a disability.
She said it’s a relief knowing the vaccinations are in near sight.
“Unfortunately there’s a delay in the vaccine delivery just due to availability, but knowing that the province is putting its vulnerable citizens at the front of phase 2 is really good news,” McNeil said.
SARC will continue to work closely with the ministry of social services as the vaccine rollout continues in Saskatchewan.