COVID-19 Risk Among Disabled People

Published online: 
06 March 2023
COVID-19 Risk Among Disabled People.

This report is a recent analysis undertaken by the Public Health Agency, Manatū Hauora regarding burden of COVID-19 disease in the disabled population who receive Disability Support Services (DSS).

It examined data from 43,000 people who received Disability Support Services (DSS) between 1 January 2022 to 16 November 2022 to gain an understanding of infection rates, hospitalisation, and mortality rates within this cohort.  

The analysis shows that reported COVID-19 cases among people who receive disability support were slightly lower than the rest of the population. However, the data indicates that these people have been at substantially greater risk of severe outcomes (hospitalisation and death) due to COVID-19.  

Overall, people who were receiving disability support (when compared to the rest of the New Zealand population) were around: 

  • 9% less likely to be COVID-19 positive
  • 4.2 times more likely to be admitted to hospital for COVID-19, and  
  • 13 times as likely to die due to COVID-19.

The analysis also showed that people receiving disability support had 19 times the risk of mortality from causes unrelated to COVID-19 infection when compared with other New Zealanders.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    06 March 2023
  • ISBN:
    978-1-991075-08-6 (online)
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2023. COVID-19 Risk Among Disabled People. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

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