New initiative aims to give Pennsylvanians with intellectual, development disabilities greater vaccines access

    A vial of COVID-19 vaccine (Commonwealth Media Services screen capture)

    A new coordinated effort between the Wolf administration and Rite Aid pharmacies aims to ease vaccine access barriers for Pennsylvanians with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

    On a call with reporters Tuesday, state officials announced the partnership between Rite Aid pharmacies statewide and the Department of Human Services Office of Developmental Programs (ODP). 

    The program allows ODP to act as a conduit for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers by sharing their name and location information with Rite Aid. 

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    Rite Aid will then assign a local pharmacy to reach out to the individual or their caregiver to schedule a vaccine appointment. 

    Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities or their caregivers can call the ODP’s vaccine call center at 1-800-424-4345 between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to request a vaccine appointment. 

    The Wolf administration noted that the initiative will also help individuals who need special accommodations or with transportation issues access a COVID-19 vaccine if they want one. 

    Cassie Miller
    A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.