Disability Rights advocates file federal complaint over Gov Lamont’s COVID vaccine plan

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — One day after Governor Ned Lamont’s age-based vaccine rollout made its way to the White House, it received a formal challenge from Disability Rights advocates.

Disability Rights Connecticut filed a complaint with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights Thursday. They are claiming that the new policy is discriminating against those with disabilities.

“Very disappointed,” said Deborah Dorfman, the Executive Director of Disability Rights Connecticut. ”We’ve received many calls from our constituents in the community. People are very, very upset.”

Dorfman says time is of the essence, and that she needed to do something immediately.

“People’s lives are at stake, what we’ve got right now. With teachers and underserved populations 55 and above, I think addresses those who are most in need, those who are most at risk. And if the vaccinations keep coming, within three weeks, it’ll be 45 years and above,” said Governor Ned Lamont.

In the complaint, DRCT is calling on the OCR to immediately investigate and issue findings on an expedited basis. They say the age-based policy constitutes disability discrimination in violation of federal law.

“We don’t disagree that the older adults should be prioritized, absolutely we agree with that,” Dorfman said. “It’s not about saying they shouldn’t be prioritized. What we’re saying is that people with underlying medical conditions should not be set aside, and instead, they too should be prioritized, regardless of age.”

The disability rights group is welcoming a conversation with the governor on their concerns.

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