Autism Alliance of Michigan encourages families, children to get vaccinated against COVID

People with severe autism can face higher risk from COVID

The Autism Alliance of Michigan is working to ensure that autistic people understand the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID.

The organization is also reaching out to parents whose autistic children are now eligible to be vaccinated. Research has shown that people with severe autism can face a higher risk from the virus.

Those along the spectrum have been hard hit by the various restrictions and disruptions over the past two years. One family from Ann Arbor said they’re excited to get their daughter vaccinated.

Read: Where to get COVID test in Michigan, what to do with at-home test results

Avery Eckner, 7, of Ann Arbor doesn’t like shots -- but she was ready for her COVID vaccine.

“Avery spent an entire year doing remote schooling. That was really hard for her at her age. So beyond preventing her from getting sick and getting ill from COVID, we also want to prevent her from having to miss more time in class and not just personally - you know -- the more COVID in the community, the more likely schools are going to be closed down,” Avery Eckner’s father, Dr. J.T. Eckner, said.

Colleen Allen is the president and CEO of the Autism Alliance of Michigan.

“Not being vaccinated, as a person with autism or another disability, puts you at much greater risk than being vaccinated,” Allen said. “Our message is, ‘Please get vaccinated.’ We care about your safety and your health and we want our population to live the best life possible in the community with others and that’s going to be possible with vaccines.”

Now that Avery Eckner is vaccinated, her family is looking forward to swimming and rock climbing indoors -- something they haven’t felt safe doing before.

Click here to learn more about the Autism Alliance of Michigan.

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.