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CHARITIES have welcomed today’s news that all people with learning disabilities will be invited to have Covid-19 vaccinations.

Jackie O’Sullivan, executive director of communication at Mencap, said: “This is a hugely welcome announcement, and fantastic news for people with a learning disability. Now everyone on the GP Learning Disability Register can get access to the Covid-19 vaccine.

“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.

“Being on the register has many benefits and entitles people to annual health checks and prioritisation for future vaccinations.”

Sense chief executive Richard Kramer said: “It’s wonderful news that the Government has listened. It is right that those who are at a higher risk from the virus get the protection they need.

“We hope that further consideration will be given for other groups of disabled adults who aren’t registered as having an learning disability, but have additional health conditions and face the same risks.”

However, Kirsty Matthews, CEO of Hft, expressed concerns about the announcement. She said: “Despite today’s announcement, we remain concerned by the continued lack of clarity about when everyone with learning disabilities, regardless of age, will be invited for vaccination.

“Given the Government’s poor track record on supporting people with learning disabilities throughout the pandemic, we are worried they will continue to be at the back of the queue for the vaccine, and risk isolation from society, even beyond 21 June.

“Hft would therefore like to see the Government follow Scotland’s example and clearly prioritise everybody with a learning disability to ensure that no one has to face an unnecessary wait for the Covid-19 vaccination.”