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Jo Whiley ‘relieved’ as government changes policy for vaccine for people with learning disabilities after sister’s Covid fight

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Jo Whiley and sister Frances
Jo Whiley is grateful her sister will now be able to get the coronavirus vaccine sooner (Picture: Rex)

Jo Whiley has spoken out after the government changed its policy on the coronavirus vaccine, to prioritise people with learning disabilities.

The DJ, 55, recently revealed that she had been offered the vaccine before her sister Frances, who has a learning disability and diabetes, who had contracted coronavirus. 

Jo told BBC News of the new change in government policy on priority for the coronavirus vaccine: ‘This is a great day, I am so relieved. I’m so happy for all those people who have been living in fear.

‘I’m very grateful to the government for listening because it’s a very complicated situation and it’s very difficult to categorise people according to their disabilities … it’s very, very tricky and that has become apparent over the last few months.’

Frances was admitted to hospital after an outbreak of Covid-19 at the care home where she lives, but is now continuing her recovery at home. 

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Jo says Frances is ‘doing well,’ adding: ‘Apparently, she got up at 4.30 in the morning to have some breakfast – her first breakfast – so she has got her appetite back. She’s FaceTiming, so all is so much better in the world.

‘My parents are now looking after her. This is the first step in her recovery. It’s going to be hard work from here on in, but she’s doing great.’

The change in policy now means that everyone who is on the GP Learning Disability Register will get the coronavirus vaccine as a priority instead of just those with the most severe learning disabilities as it had been before. 

Jo tweeted about her happiness at the announcement, writing: ‘Crying with joy at today’s news. 

‘For all those with a LD who’ve lost their lives & for those who thought they’d been forgotten. We DO care and we WILL protect you. Well Done & thank you to @mencap_charity.’

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MORE : People with learning disabilities to get vaccine after Jo Whiley campaign

MORE : Jo Whiley shares heartwarming update on sister amid coronavirus battle – but reveals long-term complications

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