FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 1, 2023
Edie Surtees, Communications Director
New Initiative Focuses on Vaccine Equity for Texans with Disabilities and Older Adults
AUSTIN—Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) is pleased to announce that it has received funding from the USAging-led Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative to conduct activities that will connect older adults and people with disabilities to COVID-19 and Flu vaccines.
Led by USAging and funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living, the Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative grants are helping communities stay healthy by targeting older adults and people with disabilities, particularly those from historically marginalized and underserved communities in which vaccination rates are low.
As part of this grant, DRTx has a hotline that people can call to get help if they are facing barriers to getting the vaccines. They are also organizing community clinics where people can get their Flu and COVID-19 shots at no cost. To get help getting your vaccine or to organize a community clinic, call 1-800-880-8401 or send an email to vaccine@DRTx.org. You can also visit their special vaccine webpage for fact sheets, news and more.
“This funding will enable us to help people with disabilities and older adults in Texas who need and want the vaccines to get them,” said Stephanie Duke, the DRTx Supervising Attorney heading up the initiative. “These groups often face accessibility and technology issues that make it hard for them to get their shots. We’re here to help them overcome those obstacles.”
“Our Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative grantees have hit the ground running,” said Sandy Markwood, CEO of USAging, which leads the Collaborative. “The funding we have received from the U.S. Administration for Community Living will enable us to make significant strides to increase the number of older adults and people with disabilities who are vaccinated. With these resources, USAging anticipates funding more than 200 communities and vaccinating more than two million older adults and people with disabilities. These vaccination uptake efforts are lifesaving for the older adults and people with disabilities who research has shown are the most vulnerable to death and severe illness from COVID-19 and the flu.”
DRTx and other Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative grantees expect to deliver vaccines to more than 110,000 older adults and people with disabilities while providing more than 130,000 supportive services over the duration of their grants.
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Disability Rights Texas is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas established in 1977. Its mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society. Visit www.DRTx.org for more information.
The Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative is led by USAging and funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living and is distributing funding to enable organizations across the aging and disability networks to perform an array of vaccination promotion activities. Organizations selected for funding will host community vaccine clinics, provide in-home vaccinations, provide transportation to vaccination sites, and will conduct outreach and education to older adults and people with disabilities among other activities. Learn more at www.usaging.org/advc.