The American state of New Mexico has now included people with developmental disabilities in the list of those eligible for the covid-19 vaccine due to being at increased risk of severe illness. However, the vaccine will only be available to people from New Mexico who are older than 16.
This information was shared by The New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department (ALTSD) and New Mexico Department of Health (DOH). The decision was based on studies that have proven that people with developmental disabilities have greater complications and death rates if they contract covid-19.
While making the announcement, DOH Deputy Secretary Jason Cornwell said, “If you are a New Mexican with an intellectual or developmental disability, you are now eligible for vaccine whether you receive services or not. Please register at vaccineNM.org. The Department of Health will reach out when the vaccine is available.”
“The mortality rate for people with IDD who contract COVID is at least twice as high as the mortality rate for COVID patients without IDD,” informed Linnea Forsythe, director of the Governor’s Commission on Disability. She applauded the decision taken by DOH, pointing out how critical it is for the vaccines to be made available to individuals who are at greater risk.
ALTSD Cabinet Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez was also grateful that the Governor is a vocal champion and advocate for the cause of people living with disabilities. State agencies like GCD, Commission for the Blind, Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and DDPC, besides ALTSD are working hard to ensure the process of registering for and getting the vaccines is smoother for people with disabilities.