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Vaccine - Vaccine

RCN Foundation funds study to boost vaccine uptake

The RCN Foundation is funding a project lead by The University of Hertfordshire to create and evaluate a visual resource to help people with intellectual / learning disabilities give their consent to having the COVID-19 vaccine.

Whilst there are numerous written materials giving the public information on the COVID-19 vaccine, there are no resources available specifically for people with learning disabilities to help them decide to have the injection. With Public Health England reporting that individuals with learning disabilities are up to six times more likely to die from COVID-19, empowering this group of people to get a vaccine is as important as ever.  

The University of Hertfordshire researchers will co-create materials working with Beyond Words and in partnership with people who find pictures easier to understand than words, as well as nurses and carers, to ensure they resonate and are understandable.  A free resource by Beyond Words, Having a Vaccine for Coronavirus, is already available to download and is designed to help people think about the coronavirus vaccine and what having the vaccine will mean.

The final materials will be freely available from August and distributed widely to people with intellectual disabilities and people who care for them, including family and friends, paid carers, nurses, GPs, social workers and other health and care professionals. It is hoped this will increase understanding and uptake of the vaccination amongst those with learning disabilities and help reduce the tragic toll in this vulnerable group of people.

Results of an evaluative national questionnaire and of mapping vaccine uptake among the target group in the county of Hertfordshire will be published later this year. These results will be produced in accessible formats for different audiences.

Deepa Korea, Director of the RCN Foundation said: “We are delighted to be funding this important project which, we hope, will have a sustained impact during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Given the disproportionate impact of the virus on people with intellectual disabilities, this project will play an important role in addressing existing health inequalities. We remain committed to supporting people with intellectual disabilities and their families during these challenging times, and this important project provides an innovative way of doing so.”

Source: RCN Foundation