As many of you will have seen on today’s news, all people on the Learning Disability Register should now be prioritised for a Covid vaccine, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised the government. This is very much a welcome move. BBC Radio’s Jo Whiley highlighted the issue from a personal perspective and Mencap along with other charities lobbied the Government for change.
Helen Whately, Minister for Care in England, said everyone who is on the GP Learning Disability Register would be invited for vaccination to protect those at higher risk from the virus.
"I have heard first-hand how tough this pandemic has been for people with learning disabilities and their families," she said.
Now everyone on the GP Learning Disability Register (and people acting as their carers) will be invited for vaccination as part of priority group six, Public Health England has confirmed, regardless of how severe their disability is.
Nicola Sturgeon announced that Scotland would prioritise all people with learning disabilities in group six on Monday. She said priority group six would be expanded to include those with mild or moderate learning disabilities. The Welsh Government says people with learning disabilities and unpaid carers have been put into a Covid vaccine priority group. We are currently awaiting a statement from Northern Ireland.
In order to make sure that you can access the vaccine it is now crucially important that you check with your GP to ensure that anyone that you care for with Fragile X is on the LD Register and that you ask for them to be put on the Register if they are not.
I would like to thank everyone from the Fragile X community who provided me with evidence of how you have been detrimentally affected by the pandemic. I will still write to Ministers to emphasise the importance of this decision and make sure that your needs continue to be highlighted. Whilst this is a positive decision, there is still a substantial amount of work to do to raise the profile of Fragile X (and learning disabilities) we will continue to celebrate, promote awareness and lobby on your behalf.