IMPACT WV Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Initiative

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The IMPACT WV project at the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities (WVU CED) is launching a new public health initiative, COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Confidence for People with Disabilities.  

The WVU CED, a member of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) network across the country, is one of 23-AUCD network centers strategically located across the country to reach local disability communities, reduce access barriers, and promote vaccine confidence. The goal is to vaccinate all eligible people with disabilities by the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26th.  

The initiative focus on building vaccine confidence in the disability community through family conversations in the weeks between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Network centers will share information on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine in community meetings, newsletters, social media campaigns, short videos, and other local outreach efforts. 

The IMPACT WV project at the WVU CED is working with communities to coordinate services that address needs of children diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or exposed to substances in utero. ( 

“This initiative builds upon IMPACT WV work, a two-generational way of thinking by providing key information about the COVID-19 vaccine for families to use when in shaping their views of the vaccine for their health and future.  Family members are important influencers in the lives of people who have a substance use disorder (SUD),” says Dr. Lesley Cottrell. “Providing the tools and resources to support those family conversations around health and vaccines will get us one step closer to our #VaccinateByADA goal and a healthier future.” 

IMPACT WV will assist Patient Navigators, Peer Recovery Coaches, and partner with Home Visitors to share information intended to boost confidence in the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines with families of infants with substance use exposure. The project’s Patient Navigators will follow up with the families to address any vaccine misconceptions and share information about how to get vaccinated.  

COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Confidence for People with Disabilities is made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Learn more at: and http://