Overcoming concerns about the Covid-19 vaccine if you have a learning disability

One of our volunteers, Jemma Ballinger, says while it is great news that people on the learning disability register will be prioritised to have the vaccine, they will still often need a lot of reassurance and understanding to receive it.
Jemma, a white woman with brown hair, smiling

Jemma, who has a learning disability and hearing difficulties, said some people might not understand how they get on to their GPs’ disability register and might be confused about whether they are entitled to the vaccine, especially if they haven’t been diagnosed as having a learning disability. See the information below about getting on the GP register.

Booking the vaccine and accessibility

Jemma added there might be confusion about booking a vaccine too and she thinks details of what to do on arrival and accessibility for those with mobility concerns should be sent perhaps via email or text.

“If they don't have smart phones or emails how will they get the notifications especially if they don’t have parents or carers or live in supportive living?”, Jemma says.

There is also the accessibility of buildings inside and outside - it would really reassure a person with learning disabilities if key accessibility information could be given via emails/phone calls/alerts when booking the vaccine.

Having the vaccination and the side effects

“People with disabilities are worried about vaccines because they might be fearful about what having it is like. For example the side effects of vaccines, interactions with medications that they take and vaccines and could be struggling to get information about them.”

Travelling to the surgery or the vaccination centre

Jemma said: “If a person has no regular access to transport this might be an issue. There are also concerns about how noisy and busy the vaccine centre might be as many public places aren't always good for people with autism.”

See more about getting extra support to have the vaccine here.

Help and advice on getting your vaccine.

To get on the learning disability register please see more information on the Mencap website here https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/health/dont-miss-out/dont-m...

Mass Vaccination centre Ashton Gate will have staff on hand to assist if you need extra time or support. If you are going to your GP practice the advice is to ring ahead and discuss your needs. 

There is Easy Read Advice available – see our Accessibility and vaccine article here.

Downloads

Advice on how to have your vaccine if you have learning disabilities and where to get more support

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