Parents and carers of adults with learning disabilities are encouraged to book them in to receive their first Covid-19 vaccination at a bespoke pop-up clinic taking place next week.
The clinic – which will be located at the Department of Health and Social Care’s Greenfield Park/Tall Trees Day Services complex on the Noble’s Hospital site – has been organised specifically for adults over the age of 18 who use the DHSC’s Learning Disability (LD) Day or Respite services, or those of its partner organisations.
However, the department is aware that there are a small number of adults living in the community who don’t use its LD services, but who are still eligible to have a vaccination next week too.
The Greenfield Park/Tall Trees complex has been chosen as the location for the clinic because of its familiarity with adults across the Island who have a learning disability and who regularly enjoy the activities and support provided there. In addition, most service users are familiar with the Learning Disability specialist nurse and the other registered professionals who support this community.
The clinic will take place on Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 and Friday 26 March, with a small number of appointments still available. The vaccination sessions will be longer than normal, allowing time for the process to be explained to each individual in a calm, safe and familiar environment, and to ensure that they have a positive experience.
This group will receive their second dose four weeks after their first, instead of the 10 week interval being used for other groups. This is so that people will be able to recall their first experience, and so reduce any anxiety they may be feeling about it. For many adults with learning disabilities, receiving any injection or vaccination can be very worrying.
Appointments for this clinic cannot be booked through 111 – instead, they should be made directly with the Learning Disability Service which can give the best advice in this situation. The team can be contacted on 698326 or 685102 between 9am and 3pm, Monday to Friday.
Minister for Health and Social Care David Ashford MHK said:
‘The Learning Disability Services team has worked really hard to establish this bespoke clinic and prioritise the complex needs of adults with learning disabilities who live in our community, and ensure that their vaccination experience is safe, familiar and positive for all involved. There are a small number of appointments left next week, and I would encourage any parent or carer of someone with a learning disability – or indeed any adult who meets the criteria themselves – to come forward and register for their vaccination appointment.
‘It’s absolutely our priority to do the right thing for this important community group and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to prioritise their vaccinations ahead of the schedule being worked towards in the UK.’
Last month, it was announced that all adults with a learning disability and those who are Learning Disability Services users will be offered the vaccination at an earlier point than originally planned. Individuals who permanently live in DHSC residential care have already received at least their first dose of the vaccination.
Individuals who are showing any COVID-19 symptoms or are part of a household that is isolating should call the number above to re-schedule their appointment.