1,300 urged to check COVID vaccine priority

People with learning disabilities in Sunderland are being urged to check they are on their GP’s official register – as those on the list will now be prioritised for Covid vaccines.
The COVID jabThe COVID jab
The COVID jab

Some adults with severe learning disabilities have already received their first jab or were due to be invited in the next stage of the rollout, but disability campaigners and charities had warned this left many with less severe conditions at risk from the virus.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said on Wednesday that all adults on their GP learning disability register should be invited for a jab alongside others in priority group six – people aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions.

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NHS data shows 1,315 adult patients in the Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group area area were identified by their GP as having a learning disability as of September last year.

But the Department of Health and Social Care says not all those signed up with a GP who have a learning disability will be on the official register, including people with mild disabilities or neurodiversity.

The charity Mencap has called for people to check with their GP to ensure they can access the vaccine.

Jackie O'Sullivan, executive director of communication, advocacy and activism at Mencap, said: “It's now crucially important that everyone with a learning disability checks that they are on the register and asks to go on it if they are not.

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"Being on the register has many benefits and entitles people to annual health checks and prioritisation for future vaccinations, as well as allowing them to get the Covid vaccine.”