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Covid: 'Delight' as booster jab confirmed for disabled daughter

BY: BBC

A mother says she is "absolutely delighted" her daughter, who has a learning disability, will get an autumn booster vaccine.

Nicky Clark had been worried after her daughter Emily did not have a booster jab in spring.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay confirmed people with learning disabilities "will have access to the Covid booster vaccine this autumn".

"This is exactly what needed to happen," Mrs Clark said.

Emily, 25, receives 24-hour care as she has a severe learning disability and lives in a home near where Mrs Clark lives in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
But, after receiving a Covid booster in November, she missed out in the spring.

At the time, Mrs Clark said doctors had told her their guidance had changed.

In July, a report estimated excess deaths among people with a learning disability in 2021 compared with before the pandemic was double that of the general population and Covid was the leading cause.

Mrs Clark said the lack of a vaccine for nine months meant her daughter had "lost access to any of the key things she does in her life".

She raised the issue on social media and the Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting wrote to Mr Barclay on her behalf.
In his reply, seen by the BBC, the health secretary said to "avoid any doubt" the wording of guidance to medics has been clarified ahead of the autumn campaign.

They will be vaccinated in the second priority group alongside people aged 65-74 or anyone aged five or over in a clinical risk group, Mr Barclay said.

"I am absolutely delighted, this will mean Emily can go out and she can go to a cafe and hopefully start swimming," Mrs Clark said.

"For Emily, this will be crucial for her mental wellbeing and physical wellbeing - it is everything."

BBC