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Core to the mission of Independent Living Centers is advocacy! The members of CFILC develop positions regarding issues that impact people with disabilities, and we join our allies in advocating for access and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. To learn about the current issues see below, please contact Dan Okenfuss, CFILC's Public Policy Director.

California revises COVID-19 vaccine guidelines to include people with disabilities and underlying health conditions under 65. February 13th, 2021

Your voices have been heard! On Friday, February 12, Governor Newsom announced that people with disabilities and underlying health conditions under the age of 65 will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, March 15, under new state guidelines.

Beginning March 15, healthcare providers may use their clinical judgement to vaccinate individuals age 16-64 who are deemed to be at the very highest risk for morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 as a direct result of one or more of the following severe health conditions:

  • Cancer, current with debilitated or immunocompromised state

  • Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above

  • Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen dependent

  • Down syndrome

  • lmmunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant

  • Pregnancy

  • Sickle cell disease

  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (excludes hypertension)

  • Severe obesity (Body Mass Index 2 is greater or equal to 40 kg/m2)

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin Al c level greater than 7.5%


If as a result of a developmental or other severe high-risk disability, one or more of the following applies:

  • The individual is likely to develop severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection
  • Acquiring COVID-19 will limit the individual's ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to their well-being and survival
  • Providing adequate and timely COVID care will be particularly challenging as a result of the individual's disability.

“I want to start by thanking the advocates in the community who have worked tirelessly to elevate vaccine equity for people with disabilities in the state. We value that Governor Newsom took action to prioritize people with disabilities and underlying health conditions, including higher weight individuals, who are under the age of 65. Equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine impacts the lives of millions of Californians who were at the bottom of the vaccine tier list. This is a step in the right direction, and provides a much needed relief to the disability community, whose lives have remained at risk,” said Christina N. Mills, Executive Director, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC).

Read the news alert.

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