Vanderbilt University and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Partner on Survey of Paralysis Community to Inform Future Health Policy Implications
NASHVILLE, Tennand SHORT HILLS, NJ, Sept. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Newly published research from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation highlights the perspectives of the paralysis community on COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Among the key findings is evidence that individuals living with paralysis have specific safety concerns that should be addressed through important doctor-patient communication – especially as the nation considers recommending yearly booster shots.
This research builds on recent findings exploring the paralysis community’s views on COVID-19 vaccines, published in November 2021.Published in Rehabilitation Psychologythe findings show important differences in the perspectives of individuals with and without paralysis regarding safety and government transparency related to COVID-19 vaccine boosters.
Between December 2021 – January 2022the Reeve Foundation distributed a survey to the paralysis community via email. The survey, which included 44 questions, was aimed at learning about how informed the paralysis community is about the boosters, hesitancies about the boosters, and vaccination and booster rates. 774 individuals completed the survey: 470 survey respondents were persons with a disability (PWD; 377 of whom identified as a person with paralysis and 93 with another disability), and 304 individuals were family members/caregivers of a PWP, friends of PQP, healthcare professionals, and supporters of the Reeve Foundation, grouped into the Foundation Supporters group (FS group).
Most PWD respondents (86.3%) reported that they did not have safety concerns related to the vaccine boosters, and 61.3% of PWD had already spoken to a medical provider about the boosters. PWD were significantly more likely than members of the FS group to have spoken to a provider about the boosters. Some PWD’s safety concerns were similar to hesitations of individuals without disabilities, including distrust of the government and/or pharmaceutical companies, belief that the boosters are unnecessary, and concern about booster side effects. PWP expressed unique concerns related to paralysis or other neurological symptoms, and believed that the booster would affect their paralysis.
The survey results also showed that persons with paralysis (PWP) and/or other disabilities were significantly less likely than individuals without paralysis to …