Resources on COVID-19 Vaccinations

If you are hoping to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the OI Foundation has assembled the following resources and suggestions to help you advocate for priority vaccination status. The OI Foundation believes that people with OI should be included in the vaccine prioritization group that includes those with chronic lung disease such as COPD.

Since vaccine prioritization decisions are being handled differently by each state and are subject to change, community members are encouraged to research and advocate within their respective states.

Resource: Sample Vaccine Letter
OIF Medical Advisory Council member Dr. Robert Sandhaus MD, PhD has drafted a sample letter to be completed by your doctor to request early administration of a COVID-19 vaccine. While each state has a different process, we recommend addressing the letter to your state’s health department or a specific official or group within it that handles vaccination prioritization decisions. Links to all state health departments can be found here.

Resource: Research on Pulmonary Health and OI
The connection between chronic lung disease and osteogenesis imperfecta has been shown in multiple studies. You can share the following articles with your doctor and relevant parties.

Reviewing your State’s Health Department Guidance:

  • Review your state’s health department website to find the most relevant group, committee, or individual in charge of vaccine prioritization. Depending on what contact information you find, you may email this letter or physically mail it.
  • Determine what timeframe people with relevant medical conditions are intended to get the vaccine in your state. While the CDC has recommended that people with certain medical conditions should be considered for priority vaccination in “Phase 1C”, many states have their own timelines, phases, and terminology for when people can get vaccinated.
  • Remember that all vaccine information is subject to change. Your state may change their rules, and we encourage you to frequently check their website for updates.

Completing the sample letter with your doctor:

  • Talk with your doctor and ask if osteogenesis imperfecta can qualify you to receive priority vaccination in your state.  If they are unsure, assume that your state has not yet released a list of conditions for priority vaccination or that it has not included OI in their guidelines yet. In either scenario, the sample letter may be a useful tool to help advocate for you and others with OI.
  • When applicable, include any diagnosed pulmonary health issues, regardless of their connection to OI, in your version of the vaccine letter referenced above. You can also mention whether you have other medical conditions that the CDC has identified as high risk beyond chronic lung disease connected to OI. Remember that this sample letter is just a template! Adding relevant information with your physician can help your letter become more persuasive.

Social Distancing and Vaccines
Please remember that even after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine, you will still need to social distance for some time. None of the vaccines are 100% effective and you still may infect others even though you experience lesser symptoms.

Want to learn more about COVID-19, vaccines, and OI?

Watch the recording of the OIF’s COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A and learn more at

Upcoming Event: COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A

The OI Foundation will host an update to our COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A on Thursday, February 11 at 6pm ET. In this session, they will update the OI community on new COVID-19 developments.


Meet the Speakers

  • Maria Elena Bottazzi, PhD – Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, Professor of Pediatrics, and Co-Director of Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine. She is an internationally recognized vaccinologist, has published over 150 scientific papers, and co-chairs the New Vaccines and Therapeutics Taskforce of the Lancet Commission on COVID-19.
  • Brendan Lee, MD, PhD – Robert and Janice McNair Endowed Chair in Molecular and Human Genetics, Professor and Chairman, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Robert A. Sandhaus, MD, PhD, FCCP – Pulmonologist, National Jewish Health

Special Virtual Office Hours Event: Impact Grants: 101

Special OIF Virtual Office Hours Event: Impact Grants: 101

                                Join OIF Health Educator, Jessica Ransome, at 7:00pm ET  on January 28th for a virtual information session on the Jeanie Coleman Impact Grant Program.                                                         Log on to learn more about the Impact Grant program, walk through the application process, and ask questions.

To register for the session, please visit:

For more information please contact Jessica Ransome at or 301-947-0083.

OIF National Conference Update

After much consideration, we have decided to make the 2021 OIF National Conference a virtual affair.  The OIF Board of Directors, staff and medical professionals believe there’s still too much uncertainty surrounding travel and large gatherings, and letting this decision linger any longer could create unfair travel burdens or financial hurdles and those are the last things we want for our community.

The success we enjoyed in July with our first virtual National Conference made this decision even easier. Of the thousands who joined us from as far away as Australia, more than half of them were attending their very first conference. Now, we have a tremendous opportunity to build on that reach and amplify that success with expanded programming and even more community elements.

If all goes as planned, the 2022 National Conference at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando will be in-person, but will also be available virtually, as will nearly all programming going forward.

We thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate the Foundation through these unusual times. We’ll release more details in the coming months, but please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. The OI Foundation can be reached by phone at (844) 889-7579 or by email at

Warm Regards,
Cameron Penn
President, OIF Board of Directors

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

As the COVID-19 vaccine is slowly becoming available, your local health department determines how COVID-19 vaccines are distributed in your state. Each state is handling the distribution and determining eligibility differently. Listed below are the links to each state’s health department website with up to date information on where and how to receive the vaccine.  Please work with your physician to decide if you will receive the vaccine.

In December, the OI Foundation spoke with a COVID-19 vaccine researcher and other experts to answer your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. If you were unable to attend this session, please click here to watch the recorded session

To learn more about the availability of the vaccine and where to receive it in your area, please click the link for your state listed below. 

The OI Foundation is making every effort to provide the most up-to-date information about the COVID-19 pandemic for the OI community. To view resources and updates from the OIF, please visit

Impact Grant Applications are Now Available!

The Children’s Brittle Bone Foundation / Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation Jeanie Coleman Impact Grant helps individuals living with OI fund projects, receive services, or purchase equipment that might not be covered by savings, other programs, or insurance. Learn more about the program, or to apply today at

The deadline to submit an application is February 22, 2021. Please contact if you have any questions.


BBDC Accepting Applications for Pilot Studies

NEW OPPORTUNITY! The Brittle Bone Disorders Consortium (BBDC) is currently accepting applications for pilot studies. For more information please refer to BBDC Pilot Study RFA or email Dianne Nguyen at

Key Dates
Application Due Date Extended to February 28, 2021
Earliest Start Date: April 1, 2021
Funding period: April 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022
Funding amount: Up to $15,000

Reflecting on 50 Years – A Letter from Gemma Geisman

To prepare for the OIF’s 50th anniversary, OIF Founder Gemma Geisman wrote a beautiful letter reflecting on the OI Foundation’s accomplishments and activities since 1970. Her daughter, Cathy, shared this letter with the OI community in Gemma’s Corner
Gemma was creative, passionate, and a wonderful listener. She listened to learn about you, she listened to find out how to help you, and she listened because she cared about you.
Gemma’s Corner, created in memory of Gemma, encourages the OI community to keep sharing with each other, caring for each other, and providing support to one another.
For more information, or to share your story, please contact Jessica at

Please join us for the 21st annual Fine Wines Strong Bones Gala!


The 21st annual Fine Wines Strong Bones Gala will be held on February 20, 2021 from 7:00-8:00pm ET. Please join us for a fun-filled evening that will include an online auction, live raffles, special video presentation, and the opportunity to fund the mission of the OI Foundation! You must be registered in advance on Zoom. Register today at

For more information, please contact Melissa Bonardi at