Policy Research Brief: The Direct Support Workforce and COVID-19: Vaccinations


This brief contains findings from a recent study of COVID-19 and vaccination rates among DSPs. Conducted by ICI and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, the study showed significant variability in the timing and location of vaccination among DSPs from different racial groups. The study revealed multiple reasons why DSPs choose to receive the vaccine or not, such as accessibility, fear of vaccination, and cultural influence. While DSPs reported similar total rates of being fully or partially vaccinated, there was variability between White and Black DSPs in terms of access, timing, and culture associated with receiving the vaccine.

DSPs come from a wide range of backgrounds which may influence their ability and willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To advance a positive vaccine model, providers and State organizations need to emphasize the benefits of vaccination, while maintaining the visibility of DSPs of different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. 

Suggested Citation

Bershadsky, J., & Reagan, J. (Eds.). (2021, October). The direct support workforce and COVID-19: Vaccinations (Vol. 28). Retrieved from https://publications.ici.umn.edu/community-living/prb/28-4/main


October 2021 
Volume 28, Number 4
Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota