By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Disability rights advocates said Wednesday state leaders need to give coronavirus vaccine priority to people with disabilities and those at higher risk of exposure and death from COVID-19.

“We understand that the vaccines are scarce,” said Silvia Yee, a California Vaccine Community Advisory Committee member. “But it says something very ugly about our values as a state if we tell people with disabilities that they have to wait at the back of the line.”

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Loved ones shared stories of loss Wednesday to show why state leaders, like Governor Gavin Newsom, need to give the disability community access to the vaccine.

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Gov. Newsom spoke at a news conference Wednesday afternoon, but there was no mention of a plan or timeline to vaccinate people with disabilities.

“We are waiting for that specific plan, we believe we can make that plan happen. There are a lot of resources in the disability community to make that plan work very seamlessly,”  said Judy Mark, president of Disability Voices United.

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Advocacy groups said they will continue to make their voices heard until state health officials announce a vaccination plan for the disability community.