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.
- Respiratory Impairment Impacts QOL in Osteogenesis Imperfecta Independent of Skeletal Abnormalities
- Cardiopulmonary Status in Adults with Osteogenesis Imperfecta: Intrinsic Lung Disease May Contribute More Than Scoliosis
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?
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