Division of Developmental Disabilities Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine

January 8th, 2021

The New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities recently issued COVID-19 vaccine guidance pertaining to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and direct support professionals who provide care.  The guidance appears unedited below:

To Whom It May Concern:

New Jersey has experienced over 400,000 positive cases and approximately 16,000 deaths associated with COVID-19.  Vaccination is the latest tool in our toolbox to stop the spread.  New Jersey recently rolled out COVID-19 vaccines step-by-step to serve all who live, work or study in the state.

Beginning in mid-December and continuing into early 2021, vaccine access will be given to New Jersey’s Phase 1A Group: health care workers, who are paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.  Phase 1A also includes long-term care residents and staff.

The Phase 1A definition of health care workers includes Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in the State’s Developmental Centers and IDD group homes, day programs, and Self-Directed Employees in private homes.  DSPs are now eligible to receive a vaccine at one of the COVID vaccine locations listed in the link below.  We are working with the Department of Health to ensure that residents in group homes, which are considered high-risk congregate settings, receive vaccinations as Phase 1A continues.  Information will be forthcoming regarding eligibility for individuals with disabilities and chronic medical conditions not residing in high-risk congregate care settings.

Please view and distribute the three (3) documents:

  1. Letter from New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Commissioner Judith Persichilli
  2. Phase 1A Factsheet
  3. List of current New Jersey Vaccine Sites (subject to change)

We request your assistance sharing this key information with DSPs and other health care workers, paid and unpaid.   The State of New Jersey’s goal is to ensure an equitable and efficient COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Thank you for your assistance.