COVID-19 Vaccination Information

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Letter from Executive Director, Phil Bonnet

To our ACRC Community:

I am writing to update you on our work to support vaccination efforts for eligible adults and their caregivers who are served by ACRC. As I am sure you know, vaccines are in short supply at this time. This is very frustrating to everyone, but we are doing all that we can to advocate on behalf of those we serve here at ACRC. Continue reading the letter.

Starting March 15: COVID-19 Vaccination Prioritization Information

Beginning March 15, healthcare providers may use their clinical judgement to vaccinate individuals age 16-64 who are deemed to be at the very highest risk for morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 as a direct result of one or more of the following severe health conditions.

Letter from the Department of Developmental Services

On January 13, 2021, the Department of Developmental Services released a letter indicating that certain family members who care for people with diagnoses of cerebral palsy, down syndrome, epilepsy, or care for those regional center clients with specialized health care needs, including dependence on ventilators, oxygen, and other technology, qualify as health care workers pursuant to the State of California’s Vaccination Plan. These family caregivers qualify for immediate vaccination as health care workers and are prioritized in Phase 1a. Service coordinators are available to create a letter documenting family caregiver eligibility. If you believe this applies to you, please reach out to your service coordinator and request they write a letter for each family caregiver that provides care as outlined in the Department of Developmental Services letter. You are encouraged to send these requests via email to your service coordinator. If you are unsure of your service coordinator’s email, please use our staff directory to send them an email message.

Update February 5: We would like to share that the webpage below was posted on the California Department of Public Health website, clarifying that certain family member caregivers of regional center consumers are eligible as healthcare providers for Phase 1A, consistent with the January 13th DDS letter.

The relevant paragraph is found a short way down the webpage:

Are family member caregivers of regional center consumers eligible as healthcare providers for Phase 1A? 

“Yes, family member caregivers with direct risk of COVID-19 exposure who care for regional center consumers at high risk of COVID-19 complications and related fatalities including the following conditions: cerebral palsy, down syndrome, epilepsy, and individuals who have specialized health care needs, including dependence upon ventilators, oxygen, and other technology are eligible. This does not include other family members within the same household who do not provide direct care to the regional center consumer. Eligible family members must obtain documentation from their regional centers, verifying the qualifying condition of the family member cared for and caregiver status.”

Thank you for your patience as we all awaited this important clarification. We hope it is helpful in jurisdictions that so far have not recognized the DDS family caregiver letter and your associated letters of documentation. Please note that many local jurisdictions and health care providers request that your letters include specific names of the persons seeking caregiver status, and of the household member with the qualifying condition.

Questions and Answers Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine

From Ad Council: “It’s normal to be cautious when something new comes along. Wanting to know more is a good thing — it means you want to be informed. And getting informed about COVID-19 vaccines is an important step to help us stop this pandemic.” Visit their website to learn about the vaccine. You can also learn about other Ad Council campaigns here.

What to Expect After Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may feel like flu and may even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Additional information regarding the vaccination.  Información sobre la vacunación.

Common Side Effects:

  • Swelling and pain on the arm where you received the shot
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Tiredness