As Americans begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, the country as a whole seems to be sharing a sense of relief and hope.  We all want to see this horrific pandemic come to an end.  Unfortunately, we cannot ignore the fact that all vaccines come with some risk.  As we begin to see how those who have been vaccinated react to the vaccine, one cannot help but feel a sense of concern.  Some may even ask themselves if they feel safer skipping the vaccine all together. The trials were small and carried out at an unthinkably rapid pace.  It is difficult to determine if those with disabilities were adequately considered when establishing who should or should not receive the vaccine.  

In the disabled community, a myriad of discussions are underway concerning that exact topic.  What disabilities or conditions make an individual more prone to a negative reaction or dangerous side effect? Are there certain disabled Americans who should avoid the vaccine?  What groups are most at risk?

While many of these questions are just starting to be explored, it is important to share what we know thus far.  We have learned that the vaccine may be dangerous for those who are immunocompromised and those who have severe allergies.  There have been reports of individuals from both of those groups going into anaphylactic shock from the vaccine.  Anyone in either group is highly advised to discuss the potential risks with their doctor before making a decision concerning undergoing the vaccine.  Pfizer admits that there is insufficient evidence concerning individuals who are immunocompromised to draw conclusions concerning safety.  Further, Dr. Fauci has stated that people with extreme allergic reactions should proceed with caution and only undergo the vaccine in facilities where emergency treatment for a severe response can be undertaken.

One such condition that has received a lot of attention is Guillain-Barre disease.  Experts have indicated that those who have been diagnosed with this disease should not get the vaccine as they are likely to have a severe, neurological response to it. 

So, what is our takeaway?  The CDC website indicates that disabled Americans are at no greater risk at contracting COVID-19.  However, some disabled Americans have underlying medical conditions that put them at much higher risk of severe illness.  Conditions such as chronic lung disease, heart disease and weakened immune systems are included in this group.

Talk to your doctor about the vaccine.  Only you and your doctor can look at the risks and benefits to determine if it’s right for you.  If you decide to take it, do so in a medical facility where emergency services and resuscitation procedures are available.  If you use an epi-pen or similar adrenaline auto injector, let whoever is administering the vaccine know.

In the meantime, if you are a disabled American who has been removed from the workforce due to the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic, give us a call.  We proudly serve all of Solano County and represent folks in Vacaville, Fairfield, Vallejo, Benicia and all surrounding areas.  There is no fee for our expert services unless we get you benefits, so you have nothing to lose in reaching out. 

Stay well!