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Letter to Governor Urging Re-prioritization of Essential Workers and Vulnerable Populations in Vaccinations

PDF: Letter to Governor – Urging COVID vaccine – January 2021



January 25, 2021

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor, State of New York

Executive Chamber

The Capitol

Albany, NY 12224



Dear Governor Cuomo,

On January 16th, we wrote to you to bring your attention to what we believed was an unintentional consequence of the recently expanded vaccination plan to include people in the 1B distribution group. Specifically, we believed that the re-allocation of vaccine to the 1B distribution sites had inadvertently negated your previous priority population designation for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and other groups in 1A.


However, with Executive Order 202.91 and the subsequent letter from DOH Commissioner Zucker on January 23rd articulated a proportionality-based vaccine distribution plan until vaccine supply increases overall, we are alarmed that people with I/DD in certified residential settings, the direct care staff who support people with I/DD, and others with disabilities in 1A are conspicuously absent. We urge you to amend your Executive Order and the guidance from DOH to reflect what we hope is simply an oversight.

Most alarmingly, we also want to advise you that in some cases we have had second dose appointments cancelled and have not been able to reschedule those vaccinations. Aside from lack of distribution and prioritization, this is antithetical to your promice that no New Yorker would experience this situation.

People with I/DD living in congregate settings are more likely to get seriously ill and die from COVID-19 due to the nature of their disabilities and their living environment. Your original vaccine distribution prioritization plan rightly vaccine administration. Anything less cannot be considered fair or equitable.

Thank you for originally recognizing people with I/DD and other disabilities as priorities for vaccine distribution and we urge you to clearly articulate that they remain in the priority category as vaccine distribution continues.

Very truly yours,


Seth Stein, Esq.

Executive Director & General Counsel

Alliance of Long Island Agencies, Inc.



Rhonda Frederick


Developmental Disabilities Alliance of WNY



Susan Constantino

President & CEO

Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State



Tom McAlvanah

Executive Director

InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities, Inc. & Boaard Chair, NY Disability Advocates (NYDA)



Michael Seereiter

President & CEO

NY Alliance for Inclusion & Innovation




Erik Geizer

Chief Executive Officer

The Arc New York



Yvette Watts

Executive Director

New York Association of Emerging & Multicultural Providers, Inc.



Maureen O’Brien

President & CEO

New York State Industries for the Disabled


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