Andrew Imparato Fights to Secure COVID-19 Vaccines for People with Disabilities

Andrew Imparato (’91), Executive Director of Disability Rights California, was quoted in an LA Times piece regarding his work with California’s Community Vaccine Advisory Committee ensuring that people with disabilities at greater risk of infection receive vaccinations as a priority group (“Newsom under Fire from Democrats over COVID-19 Response as He Faces GOP-LED Recall Campaign,” Jan. 31). “We’re feeling like we have to get more aggressive, we have to get louder, we have to organize and mobilize, and we need to point to what other states are doing. I don’t think Gov. Newsom at the end of the day is going to want to be known as the governor who was behind a bunch of Republican governors in trying to save the lives of people with disabilities.” Andy was also quoted in an NPR piece regarding the obstacles family caregivers who qualify for vaccines are facing at vaccination sites as parents of children with disabilities are turned away (“Californians Taking Advantage Of Vaccine Rules For Parents With Disabled Kids,” Feb. 15). “The culture of the vaccine deployment world right now is the Wild West. . . . Lots of things are happening on the ground in different ways, depending on who is the person screening people for the vaccine and how much training they're giving the people that are doing the screening. And it's not consistent.” Andy expressed particular concern regarding instances where caregivers who do not speak English have been denied the vaccine. “The authority figure has told them that they're not eligible, and they're going to go home and wait until they are eligible. And that makes me very sad because that's not accurate.”