Covid vaccination - category 6?: Our son has autism... - Mencap


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Covid vaccination - category 6?

Darlofan profile image

Our son has autism and severe learning disabilities and is 18. We thought he was eligible for the covid vaccine in Category 6 and were led to believe that our GP had to let the vaccination service know that he is in group 6. However, our GP says he does not feel our son qualifies for Group 6 but we are seeing other young people with less severe learning disabilities being offered their vaccinations this week. Very confusing and upsetting. We have signed the petition but got a standard, non-commital response from our M.P. We don't know what to do next?

9 Replies

we are in the same situation ...after my daughter received an appointment it was cancelled and GP now refuses to add her to list.....people with sld don't vote so they don't count but murderers in prison do. Sorry but I am very frustrated about this

49Twister profile image
49Twister in reply to Booba

I requested my son who has an SLD a postal vote which he receives, albeit he needs some “help” with his cross, he is entitled to vote. You have to register them on electoral register at Everyone who registers is allowed to vote.

Sarah_Mencap profile image
Sarah_MencapAdministrator in reply to Booba

Sorry to hear this Booba

Please do contact our Learning Disability Helpline on freephone 0808 808 1111 so that Lyndsey can get you put onto our priority waiting list to speak with one of our Information & Advice Officers who could then look further into this for you.

Best wishes


Booba profile image
Booba in reply to Sarah_Mencap

thank you will do...

does he have an official diagnosis of severe LD ? if so I would go back to g.p. point out he does fit criteria and if refused I would ask for a second opinion, and if refused still ask g.p. who does one make an official complaint to. I'm sorry - it's so upsetting to have it confirmed gain and again that people don't care x Good luck

Sarah_Mencap profile image

Hello Darlofan

Please do contact our Learning Disability Helpline on freephone 0808 808 1111 so that Lyndsey (our expert this week) can get you put onto our priority waiting list to speak with one of our Information & Advice Officers who could then look further into this for you.

We are still campaigning on this and keeping on the pressure on for a change.

Best wishes


Many thanks Sarah...We have since received a further response from our M.P. who has said that he has spoken with Helen Whately (Social Care Minister?) who has confirmed that due to our son's severe learning disabilities, he should be in vaccination priority group 6. Our M.P. has advised that we go back to our doctor and explain this so we have e-mailed the surgery. We will let you know the outcome, unfortunately, I am not optimistic 🙁

Sarah_Mencap profile image
Sarah_MencapAdministrator in reply to Darlofan


Oh wow - you have done very well getting a response.

It is amazing the doors that a MP can open. Please do mention the MP and Helen Whatley's name in any conversations with your GP.

Best wishes


Skye_Bear profile image

People with learning disabilities fall into priority group six with chronic neurological disease as their underlying health condition, but this only includes individuals with cerebral palsy, severe or profound learning disabilities, or Down’s Syndrome.

The JVCI recommendations state that many younger adults in residential care settings will be eligible for vaccination in group six because they fall into one of the clinical risk groups such as learning disabilities.

Unfortunately in group 6 unless they are aged 16 - 65 and in the at risk group for having underlying health conditions which are as follows :-

The main risk groups identified by the Committee are as follows:

Chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive

pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and severe asthma

Chronic heart disease (and vascular disease)

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic liver disease

Chronic neurological disease including epilepsy

Down’s syndrome

Severe and profound learning disability


Solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant recipients

People with specific cancers

Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment

Asplenia and splenic dysfunction

Morbid obesity

Severe mental illness.

Other groups at higher risk, including those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should also be offered vaccination alongside these groups.

You could also take a look at the following organisation for further information, advice or support available:- - The National Autistic Society

I'm sorry if this doesn't answer your question as well as you had hoped.

Thank you for signing the petition for getting people with a learning disability further up on the priority group listings.

Lyndsey M

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