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In this Disability News Service article Andrew Lee, director of People First (Self Advocacy), was last month among those raising concerns over “absolutely shocking” new figures from Public Health England which showed that younger people with learning difficulties in England were more than 30 times more likely to die from coronavirus than non-disabled people of the same age.

He welcomed the news of a vaccine and said: “This is something we’ve been talking about in our COVID-19 Support and Action group for self-advocates.”

But he added: “We are alarmed and angry about the high death rates of people with learning difficulties during the pandemic and the fact that they have not been widely spoken about.”

Lee said he and his colleagues were “encouraged” that adults with Down’s syndrome had been added to the CEV list and would now be at a higher level of priority for the vaccine.

But he added: “It is confusing to many of us, and somewhat discriminatory, to not include people with learning difficulties who do not have Down’s syndrome.”

At present the group of adults at higher risk from the virus – but not in the CEV group – includes those with “severe and profound learning disability”, but not others with learning difficulties.

You can read the full article here

People First (Self Advocacy) is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1057354 and company number 03134827 at 336 Brixton Road, London SW9 7AA.
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