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Missouri’s work toward vaccine accessibility for those with disabilities highlighted at national level


Media Contact: Lisa Cox Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Today, representatives from Missouri’s COVID-19 vaccine planning team will present to a national audience on the state’s efforts toward prioritizing those with disabilities for vaccination. 

The White House COVID-19 Response Team and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hosting the virtual forum – Breaking Down Barriers for People Who Have Challenges Accessing COVID-19 Vaccination. Missouri’s efforts will be highlighted during this forum as a best practice and will be co-presented by Robert Knodell, acting director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and Sara Hart Weir, Special Advisor to Missouri for COVID-19 (Disability Services) & Co-Chair of the Missouri Advisory Committee on Equitable COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution. 

This event is an opportunity to share best practices and lessons learned from public health efforts to improve COVID-19 vaccine access for people with disabilities and people who are unable to leave their home. President Biden recently spoke of the importance of improving access to vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities when he announced new funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote that objective. 

"I am incredibly honored that the important work of the State of Missouri, our Department of Health & Senior Services along with our Missouri Advisory Committee on Equitable COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution, is the only state being highlighted at today's forum,” said Weir. “Since the COVID-19 vaccine became available to Missourians, our priority has been to expand access and new strategies to ensure the most vulnerable--people with disabilities, people who are unable to leave their homes, caregivers and direct service providers--are getting shots in arms. It's an honor that the White House and CDC are shining a spotlight on our important work on behalf of all Missourians." 

The virtual event begins at 1:30 p.m. (central) today. Registration is available at this link.  Relay captions will be available at this event, and a link to this service will be provided during the event. An ASL Interpreter will also be present.



About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo

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