Special needs vaccine : My son is in supported living... - Mencap


3,815 members905 posts

Special needs vaccine


My son is in supported living and hasn’t been out since March.

Is there any arrangements in place for special needs to be vaccinated as a priority?



11 Replies

Hi Steve. Yes, people with a learning disability are on the priority list for the vaccine. If your son is on the ‘critically extremely vulnerable’ list (shielding list), or has Down’s syndrome, he will be in the group that is fourth in the queue to be vaccinated. Otherwise, he will come under ‘underlying medical condition’ (his learning disability) and be in the group that is sixth in the queue. So hopefully not too long to wait now. 🙂

outdoorsy1 in reply to SpeedyH

unfortunately, SpeedyH you are wrong, Learning disability is not in the list of underlying health conditions that are included in priority for the vaccination. The government list is here gov.uk/government/publicati...

at the moment if a person doesn't qualify on any other grounds - eg being older or having one of the listed health conditions, then they are not on the list for vaccination at all. Obviously this is outrageous and mencap have been in the media complaining about it.. and there is a petition. but contrary to the constant news that the 'vulnerable' will receive the vaccine by April - people with learning disabilities are not included.

SpeedyH in reply to outdoorsy1

Yes, you are correct of course. My son has a severe learning disability so I was zoned in to that. It is only people with severe and profound learning disabilities who are eligible under the underlying medical condition, not those with mild or moderate LD. Thank you for pointing that out. 👍

MontyCat in reply to SpeedyH

Hi SpeedyH. I am slightly sceptical about whether the vaccines will be rolled out as they should be. My daughter has Down Syndrome and is, therefore, classified as clinically vulnerable but so far has not had the letter she should have received from the NHS explaining this (standard and easy read versions), neither has she had any communication about vaccines, which she should also have had. This raises the question of whether the health service has complete records of people with learning disabilities and other related conditions.

SpeedyH in reply to MontyCat

There has definitely been mismanagement of the retrospective adding of people with DS to the shielding list. Firstly it was the GPs responsibility to add them as supposedly the data to be able to do so wasn’t available nationally. Then, that all changed and they were going to be added automatically nationally after all and letters sent out. Like you, I wouldn’t rely on it happening without intervention. I think we will know when those who are shielding are at the top of the list through media and hearing from other families, forums like this etc. At that point, it will probably be a good idea to phone your daughters GP as they will be sending out the appointments.

Have you had a letter about vitamin D for your daughter? If you haven’t that might mean she hasn’t been added to the list and perhaps phone her GP as they can add her.

MontyCat in reply to SpeedyH

Hi. No, I haven't seen a letter about vitamin D either. Didn't know about these! I fully intend to phone her GP - I agree that we cannot, as parents and carers, rely on the system to deliver (same sad old story). Thanks for the info.

MontyCat in reply to SpeedyH

Hi. I rang the GP surgery today and was told that GP practices are not and have never sent out shielding letters or any other letters regarding COVID and clinically vulnerable people - these are apparently supposed to come directly from the government, which is at odds with what the NHS website advises. I did manage to establish that my daughter is in group 4 (groups are numbered 1-9 according to risk factors) and that the practice will send a letter about her vaccination 'at the appropriate time'.

SpeedyH in reply to MontyCat

That is good that they know that she is in category 4 (shielding) so she is probably in the system. You should have had letters from your gp though so they are not very knowledgable, plus you should have had the letter to register for a supply of vitamin D. Here is a useful link to the letter that was sent to your GP by the government. If you read the annexes at the end it has links to the letters the GP should have sent you.


Here is the link for you to register her for the vitamins.


Hope this helps 🙂

MontyCat in reply to SpeedyH

Thank you!

I did read the other day that if someone has allergies not to have to vacine at the moment. Some people had a reaction to it.



The vaccine is such a hot topic at the moment. Here is another recent post about it that you might find useful - healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

Our campaigns team have replied on there too - and we will post any new updates on here too.

We also have an Easy Read guide to the vaccine here - healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

This guide was last updated on the 21 December 2020.

I have just checked the government website and this is a link to the latest guidance (it is a bit heavy going) - gov.uk/government/publicati...

If you have a look on there the 2 bits you will probably need are under:

* Persons with underlying health conditions - this lists the main risk groups who are going to be offered the vaccine.

* Vaccine priority groups: advice on 30 December 2020 - this bit says what order people are going to get the vaccine.

If you have any questions about this please do contact your son's GP.

If you want to ask our campaigns team a question about this please contact them on campaigns@mencap.org.uk.

I hope this helps a little.



You may also like...