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Some worry those with disabilities may not get COVID-19 vaccine quick enough

Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 5:20 PM EST
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W.Va (WDTV) - A large population of people in West Virginia have some type of disability. Some worry they may not get the COVID-19 vaccine soon enough.

Monica Marietta is the mother of an immunocompromised child and the executive director of a non-profit that provides recreation to kids and adults with disabilities. She has some concerns when it comes to the pandemic.

“I know for our family as well as many of our other families that these individuals have been completely and totally isolated now for 11 months, and some maybe even a little bit longer,” said Marietta.

Besides the long-lasting isolation, Marietta is more worried about how long it will take for those with disabilities to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

A little over 39% of adults in West Virginia have some type of disability, which is more than the country’s average, according to the CDC.

As more time passes, it leaves those with disabilities with less opportunities to get the daily interaction they need in everyday life.

“It’s really just taking its toll, and I’ve seen it firsthand and heard multiple of our athletes who have started with some issues with self-harm,” Marietta said.

5 News reached out to state health officials to see if a plan is in place or if they have considered how to provide the vaccine to those with disabilities in a way that is separate from the rules of the general population, but no one was available to comment.

Marietta says the longer the wait, the more uncertain she is about the condition of those with disabilities.

“If we have to wait for our young adults with disabilities to get vaccinated, we could be looking at the end of the summer and I just don’t know how well that’s going to go. They’re really struggling right now,” continued Marietta.

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