AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities will be able to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine through a clinic being held next Wednesday at ADVO Companies in Amarillo.
The clinic is open to the those with disabilities, as well as their family members and caregivers.
It will be a drive thru style clinic in their parking lot and last from 8:00 in the morning until noon.
Many individuals with intellectual disabilities are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 due to many health factors related to their conditions. That is why there is a push to facilitate the vaccine, as many also need a little extra support getting it.
“It is not like you and I that can just get in our car, get in line, fill out the paperwork and we are ready to go,” said Maria Garcia, program director for Uniting Parents and has a child with down syndrome “They need assistance with that entire process, so be to be able to do that one time and be done with it, I think is amazing.”
Maria, her husband, and their son, Joe, contracted the virus last year.
She says they are thankful to have been able to overcome it, given Joe has a suppressed immune system and are now ready to get back to normal.
“Joe enjoys basketball swimming, bowling and march and all of that halted of march of last year just like it halted for everyone,” said Garcia.
She adds during COVID-19 it was difficult to explain why they were making all those changes.
They don’t understand why you are not sharing with them or why they can’t get something or why they can’t leave their room for a while. Let me clean up first and then you can go in there, they don’t necessarily get that so that was the difficult part.
Garcia says that is why it is amazing they are having a clinic with people who will understand their needs and be more patient with them.
Like Joe, there are many other individuals who have not received the vaccine. the director of ADVO companies has worked with this community for decades and says COVID-19 hit them really hard.
Since they have a housing program, those in the program were able to get the vaccine earlier on. This allowed them to see their families after a year and get back to outside activities.
That is why they decided to help set up the clinic here in Amarillo, so everyone else who hasn’t been able to get it, can receive it.
“We are needing volunteers. Volunteers is very important, if the numbers that we think are going to show up, it is going to be a big undertaking for us and we want it to be a smooth operation,” said Carla Hughes, President at ADVO Companies.
She adds it is very important for this community to have everything in order at such events.
At the moment they expect more than 400 people to show up which is why volunteers are critical and asked to reach out to them for information.
The deadline is strict, so anyone who is 18 and over and fits their requirements, must pre-register by tomorrow before 6:00 in the evening.
You can pre-register for the vaccine and to volunteer by visiting their website or calling ADVO companies at (806) 342-0600.