All people with learning disabilities will be invited for Covid vaccines, says care minister

Jo Whiley with her sister Frances, who has the rare Cri du Chat genetic syndrome, and was admitted to hospital with Covid. Photograph: Mark Westwood/Getty Images

All adults on the learning disability register will be invited to get a coronavirus vaccine following advice from the Joint Committtee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Those with severe learning disabilities are already included in priority group six, while adults with less severe conditions are not prioritised but the JCVI said the health service should now invite all those on the GP learning disability register after analysis found they were at higher risk of death and serious illness.

The care minister, Helen Whately, responding to updated advice from the JCVI, said: “I have heard first-hand how tough this pandemic has been for people with learning disabilities and their families. We are determined those more at risk from Covid should be vaccinated as soon as possible.

“Following the JCVI’s updated advice and to make this process simpler and faster, we will be inviting everyone for vaccination who is on their GP’s learning disability register. This will mean those who are at a higher risk from the virus can get the protection they need.”

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