People with developmental and intellectual disabilities living in congregate care are among the state's most vulnerable. And they, along with staff, will be included in the first phase of COVID-19 vaccines.
New York on Monday announced it is expanding the categories of people who are now set to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
"This week we increase the priority populations that the hospitals will be allowed to adminstered," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a briefing. "Federally-qualified health center workers, EMTs, coroners, other congregate care workers and residents."
It is that congregate care news that has some advocates for those with developmental disabilities cheering, who called it an important step.
"We clearly were able to work togehter with his office and we are currently working through all the logistics to be able to get the vaccine to individuals in all 62 counties in New York state," said Tom McAlvanah, the president of the New York Disabilities Advocates.
But like many non-profits, the pandemic has strained the finances and resources of care providers.
"The service providers are very, very vulnerable and many are worried they're either going to be cut or rollback and layoffs of staff," McAlvanah said. "We have been struggling throughout this pandemic."
As of Monday morning, there were roughly 38,000 people vaccinated in New York with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
There are thousands of people who are living in congregate care facilities, as well as staff. The first phase of the vaccine rollout is not being conducted overnight, either, and is expected to last through the end of January.