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COVID-19 RESOURCES

During this current Coronavirus outbreak, our world has affected each of our families in every possible way. The DSALA is here to provide you with the necessary resources to help you navigate these challenging times. All programs and events have been switched to a virtual setting until further notice to all practice social distancing and keep our community healthy and safe. 


May 10, 2021 Update: The state has announced all consumers of Reginal center locations, independent living centers, and In-Home Supportive services are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Match 15, 2021.

You do not need to verify any diagnosis or the type of disability but rather sign a self-attestation that they are eligible for the vaccine. When making an appointment, please state that you have a disability or have a high-risk medical condition. Regional centers will provide personalized letters to their consumers. If DDS has provided you a letter stating your eligibility, please bring it to the vaccination site if there are any questions.

How can people with high-risk conditions or disabilities get a vaccine?

  • Contact your Primary Health Care provider or system. Please remember to check if your health care provider is providing vaccines and have available appointments.
  • Check with your local pharmacies. Currently, some pharmacies are providing vaccines for all school and childcare staff in March.
  • Local Health departments may have information about how to find available vaccine appointments.
  • Community Pop-Up clinics will begin to open in the middle of March to serve the lowest Healthy Place Index communities.
  • My Turn California Website is open to make an appointment by phone (1-833-422-4255) Monday – Friday 8 AM – 8 PM and Saturday- Sunday 8 AM – 5 PM. The second available option is online at myturn.ca.gov. Both options are accessible to people with disabilities and in multiple languages.

Please remember that vaccine supplies are limited and may not be readily available.

Most Frequently Asked Questions


When can an individual with Down Syndrome get a vaccine?

In the state of California, all adult individuals with Down syndrome may begin getting their vaccines on March 15, 2021, healthcare providers are permitted to use their medical opinion to vaccinate individuals between the ages of 16-64 who are represented at the highest risk for morbidity and mortality from COVID due to one or more of the following conditions: 

  • Cancer, current with debilitated or immunocompromised state
  • Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
  • Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen-dependent
  • Down syndrome
  • Immunocompromised 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 
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

ALL children 12 and over may start getting their vaccination on May 10, 2021.  Please find information on Covid Vaccination on Children 12 +.

COVID Vaccination in Children with Ds with Dr. Andrew Nowalk.


What is the COVID-19 Vaccine?

The coronavirus vaccine is a new medication that can help prevent contracting COVID-19 by supporting and improving your immune system. In the case of contracting COVID-19 after you have had the vaccine, it will help you fight the novel COVID. 

Scientists and researchers have created the vaccine with a technology called mRNA, which will help provide your body with instructions on producing antibodies for the Coronavirus without carrying the live virus. To find more information about understanding mRNA Vaccines, follow the link here.

It is necessary to receive two vaccines for the medication to be effective; the second vaccine must be administered within 3 or 4 weeks after the first vaccination. 

What kind of vaccines are there?

Pfizer and Moderna are the two current vaccines being distributed with authorization from the United States. 

The Pfizer vaccine is available for individuals who are 16 and older. This vaccine is distributed in two shots, 21 days apart, in the upper muscle of your arm. This vaccine should not be administered if you have had an allergic reaction to a previous vaccine or if you have had an allergic reaction to injectable therapy for a different disease. For more information about the Pfizer vaccine, visit here.  

Moderna vaccine is available for individuals 18 years and older. This vaccine is distributed in two shots, 28 days apart, in the upper muscle of your arm. This vaccine should not be administered if you have had an allergic reaction to a previous vaccine or if you have had an allergic reaction to injectable therapy for a different disease. For more information about the Moderna vaccine, visit here.

These vaccines need time for them to work; to best protect yourself, it may take up to a week or two after your second vaccine.

What are some symptoms I may feel after receiving the vaccines?

Some post-vaccination symptoms include soreness around the injection, headache(s), fever, or a sore throat. (within 48 hours, may last 1-2 days) Symptoms may present like the flu and will last a few days. View the CDC's Tips on what to expect after receiving your vaccine.


When can I get the Coronavirus vaccine?

The first group of people to receive the vaccinations first is group Phase 1A and Phase 1B Tier 1. 

Phase 1A includes Healthcare workers and residents of long-term, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).  This includes regional center service providers and caregiver’s family members as they are Phase 1A Tier 2. 

Phase 1B Tier 1 includes individuals who are 65 and over.

If you are eligible, these are a few requirements to obtain a vaccination.

  • Make your appointment on the Los Angeles county’s website at one of the LA County’s Points of Dispensing (POD). 
  • To schedule an appointment for the vaccine, visit the county’s website, found here.

The California State University of Los Angeles has made its campus available for vaccine distribution. They are open daily, 9 AM - 7 PM. Appointments are reserved only for the BIPOC community and for individuals with intellectual and developmental communities. New codes are available every week for these reserved appointments. To request a code for this location, please email info@dsala.org.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

 If you are the primary caregiver: 

  • Household members of families of Regional Center consumers who care for or live with individuals with down must request a form from your Reginal Center Service Coordinator to verify the household member's condition with developmental/intellectual disability. 
    • If you work for IHSS, please digitally show or print this letter as well as your paystub.
  • Photo ID 
  • Proof of employment:
    • Employment verification letter from employer that is on letterhead and includes the employee’s name, and
    • Paystub, employee ID, business card with employee name and job title.

If you are a family member of an individual with a developmental disability:

  • Household members of families of Regional Center consumers who care for or live with individuals with down must request a form from your Reginal Center Service Coordinator to verify the household member's condition with developmental/intellectual disability.
  • Photo ID
  • DDS letter stating Family members of certain individuals qualify as healthcare workers. It may be shown electronically or printed. View the letter here.

Please note, you will need one letter per caregiver, such as if two parents, adult siblings.


COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA provides financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. Please visit the FEMA website to get eligibility information. 

How to Apply
FEMA Website

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number
Applications begin on April 12, 2021
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

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