Learning Disability Wales and Public Health Wales are launching a new accessible information project that aims to improve people with a learning disabilities’ understanding of vaccines and vaccination.
The Vaccination Information Project will tackle misinformation about vaccines, address concerns and promote acceptance of vaccines among people with a learning disability in Wales.
A series of online and in-person focus groups across Wales, plus an online easy read survey, will capture the views of people with a learning disability. Meanwhile, parents, unpaid carers and professionals will take part in 1 to 1 interviews.
Information gathered will be used to coproduce vaccination information resources to better meet the needs of people with a learning disability, their families and carers.
Preventing respiratory infections
Paula Phillips, Senior Improvement Manager at Improvement Cymru, Public Health Wales said:
“People with a learning disability have greater health needs and die younger than the general population. The average age of mortality for people with a learning disability is estimated to be 23 years younger for men, and 27 years younger for women, compared with the general population, with respiratory conditions being the most significant cause.
“Preventing respiratory infections, such as influenza and COVID-19, through vaccination is therefore particularly important for people with a learning disability.”
Accessible information is crucial in helping people with a learning disability to understand and make informed choices about their lives. To help people with a learning disability (and their parents/carers) to make informed decisions about vaccinations, the project will provide relevant and evidence-based information that addresses their concerns. This information will be in an accessible format that meets their needs.
Dr Christopher Johnson, Consultant Epidemiologist and Interim Head of Public Health Wales’ Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme, said:
“We know that vaccines are the best way to protect against serious disease. Through this project, we want to find out what people with a learning disability want to know about vaccination and how they would like to get this information.
“It’s important everyone gets their information about vaccines from a trusted source so that they can make an informed choice. We hope that by working with Learning Disability Wales we can support people with a learning disability to access tailored and trusted information about vaccination which allows them to do this.”
A steering group, made up of people with a learning disability, staff from Learning Disability Wales and Public Health Wales, researchers, and other professionals who work with people with a learning disability, will help to oversee the work of the project.
How you can get involved
Throughout February and March 2023, we are going to:
- Hold 4 focus groups for people with a learning disability in person.
- Hold 2 online focus groups for people with a learning disability that will happen online.
- Interview family and unpaid carers, and people who work with people with a learning disability.
- Ask people with a learning disability to fill in an easy read survey online. The easy read survey will be available between Monday 20 February 2023 and Friday 3 March 2023.
Public Health Wales surveys
Alongside this Public Health Wales has organised 2 surveys, which are available until Friday 24th February:
- A survey for carers of people with a learning disability.
- A survey for organisations which support people with a learning disability.
You can find out more about the Vaccine Information Project visit here, or please contact Laura Griffiths: email email@example.com or phone 029 2068 1160.
For information about vaccines in Wales, please visit the Public Health Wales website.