Michigan nonprofit helps vaccinate those with disabilities

A nonprofit dedicated to assisting those with developmental disabilities has been hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics at its offices in suburban Detroit

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — LaQuae Lebon wants her 16-year-old son to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Making it happen, though, is a different story.

Lebon brought Noah, who is non-verbal, to a vaccine clinic on Thursday hosted by JARC, a suburban Detroit nonprofit dedicated to assisting those with developmental disabilities.

In Noah’s case, a health care professional and several JARC representatives tried several different techniques, including playing his favorite song and giving him some Play-Doh, but nothing persuaded the teenager to sit for the shot. They even tried administering it while Noah sat in a car in the parking lot.

“He’s really scared of shots,” his mother said. “I don’t know how much he understands. But just being in a new environment, he just doesn’t want to take the shot.”

Braunstein said JARC will continue to host clinics until there’s no longer a need. They are open to anyone, not just those with disabilities, and have hosted between 50 to 600 people, depending on the day.

Lebon said she’ll be back with her son — probably in a week’s time.

“I’m sure he’s eager to get back to school and his daily activities. So, we’re just going to try again,” she said.

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