In December 2020, the FDA gave emergency use authorization for two COVID-19 vaccines,
Pfizer and Moderna. In early 2020, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for a third
COVID-19 vaccine, Johnson & Johnson. These vaccines have the potential to stop the COVID-19
pandemic in its tracks and allow individuals to return to some sense of normalcy so long as a
large percentage of the adult population receive the vaccine. In New Jersey, Governor Murphy
has set a goal of having 70% of its adult population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by July.
Early in 2021, limited supply meant that many individuals who wanted the vaccine were unable
to get it. However, in April, vaccine supply finally reached the level that any individual who
wants a vaccine can now schedule an appointment, or walk-in to some clinics without an
appointment. In May 2021, over 70% of New Jersey adults have received at least the first dose
of the vaccine, and the spread of COVID-19 is rapidly declining.
Although 70% of New Jersey adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, the overall
state numbers do not tell the whole story. There are many individual municipalities with less
than 40% of its adults vaccinated. Many reasons exist for this problem: transportation to a
vaccine site, homebound residents who cannot get to a vaccine, fear of needles, concern about
the safety of the vaccine, cultural bias, the inability to take time off from work, and political
considerations. The Administration on Community Living recently gave Disability Rights New
Jersey a grant to assist individuals with disabilities obtain the COVID-19 vaccine.
How We Help
Our Vaccine Team is here to help you.
- Provide direct assistance to individuals with disabilities who reside in a facility or in the community and are having trouble scheduling a vaccine or arranging transportation to a vaccine site
- Work with state and local health departments to identify areas in which individuals with disabilities have not received a vaccine and barriers preventing them from receiving a vaccine
- Work with local community and faith-based groups to help increase knowledge about the vaccine and boost confidence about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine
- Work with school districts and special education groups to help inform parents how the vaccine will help their children once the vaccine has been approved for their age group
- Work with other disability groups to conduct outreach and training to individuals with disabilities about the vaccine and the benefits that it provides
If you are an individual with a disability or know an individual with a disability who is having difficulty obtaining a vaccine, please contact Disability Rights New Jersey. In addition, if you would like us to speak to you or your group about the COVID-19 vaccine, please reach out to our office.