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Disability Rights Advocates Want Priority Receiving Coronavirus Vaccine

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Disability rights advocates said Wednesday state leaders need to give coronavirus vaccine priority to people with disabilities and those at higher risk of exposure and death from COVID-19.

"We understand that the vaccines are scarce," said Silvia Yee, a California Vaccine Community Advisory Committee member. "But it says something very ugly about our values as a state if we tell people with disabilities that they have to wait at the back of the line."

Loved ones shared stories of loss Wednesday to show why state leaders, like Governor Gavin Newsom, need to give the disability community access to the vaccine.

Gov. Newsom spoke at a news conference Wednesday afternoon, but there was no mention of a plan or timeline to vaccinate people with disabilities.

"We are waiting for that specific plan, we believe we can make that plan happen. There are a lot of resources in the disability community to make that plan work very seamlessly,"  said Judy Mark, president of Disability Voices United.

Advocacy groups said they will continue to make their voices heard until state health officials announce a vaccination plan for the disability community.

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