The willingness of UK adults with intellectual disabilities to take COVID-19 vaccines

Chris Hatton , Tom Bailey, Jill Bradshaw , Sue Caton , Samantha Flynn, Amanda Gillooly, Andrew Jahoda, Roseann Maguire, Anna Marriott, Peter Mulhall, Edward Oloidi, Laurence Taggart, Stuart Todd, David Abbott, Stephen Beyer, Nick Gore, Pauline Heslop, Katrina Scior, Richard Hastings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Given the much greater COVID-19 mortality risk experienced by people with intellectual disabilities (ID), understanding the willingness of people with ID to take a COVID-19 vaccine is a major public health issue. Method: In December 2020 to February 2021, across the United Kingdom, 621 adults with ID were interviewed remotely and 348 family carers or support workers of adults with ID with greater needs completed an online survey, including a question on willingness to take a COVID-19 vaccine if offered. Results: Eighty-seven per cent of interviewees with ID were willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine, with willingness associated with white ethnicity, having already had a flu vaccine, gaining information about COVID-19 from television but not from social media, and knowing COVID-19 social restrictions rules. A percentage of 81.7% of surveyed carers of adults with ID with greater needs reported that the person would be willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine, with willingness associated with white ethnicity, having a health condition of concern in the context of COVID-19, having had a flu vaccine, being close to someone who had died due to COVID-19, and having shielded at some point during the pandemic. Conclusions: Reported willingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine is high among adults with ID in the United Kingdom, with factors associated with willingness having clear implications for public health policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-961
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number11
Early online date16 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research (grant COV0196) was funded by UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council) and supported by the Department for Health and Social Care (National Institute for Health Research) as part of the UKRI‐DHSC COVID‐19 Rapid Response Rolling Call. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of DHSC, NIHR, UKRI or MRC.

Funding Information:
Thank you to the following collaborating organisations without whom this project would not be possible: All Wales People First, Learning Disability Wales, All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers of People with Learning Disabilities, Scottish Commission for Learning Disability, Promoting a More Inclusive Society (PAMIS), Positive Futures, Mencap Northern Ireland, Learning Disability England, PMLD Link, Positive Futures, CAN Northern Ireland, Families Involved in Northern Ireland (FINI).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research published by MENCAP and International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disibilities and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • intellectual disability
  • COVID-19
  • Vaccination
  • vaccine willingness
  • United Kingdom
  • Persons with Mental Disabilities/statistics & numerical data
  • Caregivers/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Young Adult
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19/prevention & control
  • Female
  • Qualitative Research
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Cohort Studies
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data


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