Detroit opens COVID-19 vaccinations to those with disabilities

The City of Detroit is once again expanding access to the COVID-19 vaccine in the city, this time adding people with physical or intellectual disabilities to those eligible to receive the vaccine.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced the expanded access during a press conference on Thursday, saying people who are 18 or older and live in the city of Detroit with a disability are now eligible. 

"As a city, we recognize that individuals with certain conditions are more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to a weakened immune system or being unable to properly socially distance," said Duggan. 

The mayor said only a few states in the nation have given access to disabled residents but the city is prioritizing this part of our population.

"Only four states in the country have specifically opened access to disabled residents and in Detroit, we are making them among our highest priority," he said.

Among those conditions are:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Autism
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • ADHD
  • Spinal Bifida
  • Hearing and Vision impairment 

"Individuals with Down's syndrome are 5 times more likely to get COVID than the population and ten times more likely to die of COVID," said Duggan.

Disabled residents can make an appointment at TCF Center by calling 313-230-0505 but you will need to provide information about a disability.

Detroit's TCF Center displays a sign 'Defeat Rona'. The center has been used as a COVID-19 vaccination site since January.

"It could be a note from your healthcare provider, it could be your prescription bottles, it could be an insurance record," said Duggan.

The efforts put forth by the city are now getting attention on the national level with the director of FEMA reaching out to the mayor's office for information about how the city has rolled out the vaccine.

The federal government is also allocating more federal funds - $18 million - to the city.