There is a few different vaccines that are being developed that scientists think will stop you from catching Covid-19. But there are many stages and tests that a vaccine has to go through for us to be sure it is safe and effective. This takes time.
None of the vaccines have got full safety approval yet but the government have told us we should see this happening soon. The trials have been done very fast because there is an urgent need for a vaccine, but none of the safety steps have been skipped.
The UK government have said that at risk groups will be vaccinated before Christmas, and most over-50s before the spring. At the moment these at risk groups are; elderly people and health and social care workers.
Lots of people, think that people with learning disabilities should be some of the first people to get the vaccine. Different people and groups have been campaigning and writing to the government to say this.
Learning Disability England’s co-chairs sent a letter to politicians to argue why we think people with learning disabilities should be high on the list for getting the vaccine because we know people were more at risk of bad effects of the virus earlier this year.
Since then, The Joint Committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) have given updated guidance on priorities for who gets the vaccine first. You can read that here
It does not give priority to people with learning disabilities alongside older people even though we know people with learning disabilities died disproportionately at a younger age than the general population between March and July.
The letter we signed, alongside other organisations, explains why we think people with learning disabilities must be a priority group and we still believe that.
It is good people with ‘severe and profound’ learning disability are included in the list alongside other people extremely clinically vulnerable because of a condition but this will not help other people with learning disabilities who are at higher risk.
We will carry on working to get these priorities changed and you can add your voice by contacting your MP.