Table 1

Vulnerability factors to COVID-19 in persons with disabilities

Area of vulnerabilityFactor
Prevention and management of infection with SARS-CoV-2
  • Use issues and low compliance with personal protective equipment (ie, safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses).

  • Low levels of health literacy (for persons with cognitive and developmental disabilities).

  • Low compliance with complex hygiene rules (for persons with cognitive and developmental disabilities).

  • Reliance on other people for care.

  • Living in congregated settings.

  • Small social networks.

  • Residential instability and homelessness.

Other physical health issues
  • Pre-existing medical conditions, including multimorbidity.

  • Specific immunological assets.

  • Lack of accessibility to healthcare services and unmet needs for healthcare.

  • Low standard of living.

Mental health
  • Prepandemic lack of accessibility to mental health services and unmet mental health needs.

  • Pre-existing low standard of living.

  • Pre-existing psychological vulnerability (especially in persons with intellectual disability, autism and other developmental vulnerabilities).