Vaccine priority list updated for people with learning disabilities
24 February 2021, 12:31
All people with learning disabilities will now be prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised the Government and NHS that all people on the learning disability register should now be prioritised in the vaccine rollout.
According to deputy chairman of JCVI, Professor Anthony, this means an extra 150,000 people will now be eligible.
At the moment, people with severe learning disabilities are included in priority group six.
However, opening up the vaccine to anyone on the learning disability register will help protect more people.
This comes after their analysis found that they were at higher risk of death and serious illness.
Minister for Care, Helen Whately, said on the matter: "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.”
Covid-19 chairman for the JCVI, Professor Wei Shen Lim, added: "The JCVI's advice on Covid-19 vaccine prioritisation was developed with the aim of preventing as many deaths as possible.
"People who are severely affected by learning disabilities are at higher risk of death from Covid-19.
"As the severity of any disability may not be well recorded in GP systems, JCVI supports the NHS operational plan for anyone on the GP Learning Disability Register to be invited now for vaccination as part of priority group six, and to reach out in the community to identify others also severely affected by a learning disability but who may not yet be registered."