3 March 2021

Minstead Trust is delighted that the Government has  announced that 150,000 people with learning disabilities will be given priority for the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Trust supports over 200 people across Hampshire and together with other learning disability organisations and Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley, we have been campaigning for people with learning disabilities to be higher priority to receive the Covid vaccine due to their increased risk of death from the virus.

The success of the campaign means more people with learning disabilities can receive the vaccine, just like Philip did last week. The Trust supports Philip to live in his own home and after his vaccination he said: ‘I was very excited to get my jab and be protected against the virus. I’m very happy I had it done.’

In November, Public Health England published a report that showed that death rates for people with a learning disability was 3.6 times higher than the general population and significantly higher in younger age groups. Despite these findings, Government guidance only prioritised those with Downs Syndrome in group four and only people with `severe learning disabilities` in priority group six.

This has meant that many people with learning disabilities had been told that they were not eligible to receive the vaccine yet. The change announced today means that anyone registered with their GP as having a learning disability are now in the latest priority group to get vaccinated.

Madeleine Durie, Chief Executive of Minstead Trust, said: ‘At Minstead Trust, we are pleased that all of the people we support in residential care or supported living have now been offered the first dose of vaccine. We are urging everyone with a learning disability  to check with their GP if they are on the register and, if they are not, to ask to be included. If you are invited to an annual health check, you should be on the register already and should be receiving your appointment shortly.’

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