CADDRA and CADDAC Call on Provinces to prioritize individuals with ADHD in COVID-19 vaccination rollout
TORONTO — CADDRA – The Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance and The Centre for ADHD Awareness (CADDAC), are calling on Canadian provincial governments to include people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among priority groups in their vaccine rollout.
Research published in the past year indicated that ADHD may be a risk factor for COVID-19 infection as it limits a patient’s ability to comply with prevention recommendations1 and that those with ADHD are at greater risk of more severe symptoms and hospitalization from COVID-192.
“ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disability that impairs judgement and impulse control contributing to many health risks,” said Dr. Joan Flood, chair of CADDRA’s Advocacy Committee. “The provincial governments should have placed people with ADHD on their priority list for vaccinations from the start. Their failure to do so is putting lives at risk, and their lack of investment in a plan to remove any and all obstacles for people with neurodevelopmental disabilities trying to access their vaccination is a serious problem.”
While some provinces have included a limited number of neurodevelopmental disorders in their priority groups, patients with ADHD have not been specified. Alberta3 has specifically excluded people with ADHD in their priority groups.
Last week, Detroit became one of the first cities in the United States to prioritize people with ADHD and other disabilities in their vaccine rollout plans.
“COVID-19 vaccination must be accessible to people of all abilities,” said Juanita Beaudry, Executive Director of CADDAC. “People with ADHD, a neurodevelopmental disability, should not face barriers in scheduling or receiving vaccination in their province.”
In Canada, vaccine rollout priorities are decided on a provincial basis and to date have not included special arrangements for individuals with ADHD. Given the importance of vaccination for all Canadians with disabilities, CADDRA and CADDAC are calling on the provinces to include people with ADHD as a priority in their current phase of the vaccination rollout to ensure consistent practices across the provinces.
As public health units across Canada coordinate distribution plans and priority access for Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines, CADDRA and CADDAC will continue to monitor the situation and its impact on patients with ADHD.
1 Merzon E, Manor I, Rotem A, et al. ADHD as a Risk Factor for Infection With Covid-19. J Atten Disord. 2020;1087054720943271. doi:10.1177/1087054720943271
2 Merzon E, Weiss MD, Cortese S, et al. The Association between ADHD and the Severity of COVID-19 Infection. J Atten Disord. 2021;10870547211003659.
3 https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid19-vaccine-phase-2B-eligibility-fact-sheet.pdf (2nd last from bottom)
For more information, please contact:
CADDRA – Brendan Dermody, Membership & Communications Coordinator
CADDAC – Juanita Beaudry, Executive Director