Your web browser is outdated and may be insecure

The RCN recommends using an updated browser such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome

Having a Vaccine - understand the benefits of vaccinations

Following the success of Beating the Virus and Encouraging COVID-19 Vaccinations, the RCN Foundation has funded a third visual resource created by the University of Hertfordshire and charity, Beyond Words.

Having a Vaccine resource

Having a Vaccine explains the process and benefits of vaccinations in an accessible, visual way, aiming to empower people with learning disabilities to make informed decisions about their own healthcare The resource will assist people with learning disabilities – and their families and carers – to have open conversations about the benefits of other vaccines for long-term health and wellbeing. 

Studies show that people with learning disabilities experience significant health inequalities , including poor quality healthcare that is responsible for avoidable hospitalisations and deaths. The team behind the new Having a Vaccine book hope that the resource will encourage people to receive other necessary vaccinations such as flu, to protect them against preventable illnesses.

Download Having a Vaccine resource here.

                        Having the Vaccine

Dr Helena Wythe, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire, explains why this kind of resource is so important to invest in: “Thankfully, we saw a high uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine across the community here in Hertfordshire. However, it’s not just about the number of vaccines in people’s arms. It’s important that people with learning disabilities aren’t shut out of the conversation around vaccines, but understand why they are so important and play an active part in these kind of healthcare decisions. “This is particularly important as COVID-19, and the importance of the vaccine, is no longer front and centre in the media. We hope this resource will help people to continue conversations about the importance of protecting their health, in many ways, in the long term”.

Katie Smith, CEO of Beyond Words, said: “Picture-based, word-free resources like these are vitally important in helping people who find visual mediums easier to understand than written ones. They allow people to build understanding of the vaccination process, as well as having open discussions about their anxieties, questions, and emotions. We are delighted to have been able to bring our approach to such a valuable resource”.

Deepa Korea, RCN Foundation Director, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted alarming health disparities, especially among individuals with lived experience of a learning disability, who faced a mortality rate 3.6 times higher than the general population. Addressing these inequalities is a top priority for the RCN Foundation and we are proud to have funded this resource, designed to not only aid those seeking the COVID-19 vaccination, but also individuals receiving other vaccinations and immunisations administered via a needle”. 

                                  Beyond words logo                                                                                                                                   
                            Logo University Hertfordshire