Covid-19 Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:46 pm on 14th December 2020.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 3:46 pm, 14th December 2020

I hope the Secretary of State recognises the sacrifices Geordies have made to successfully reduce transmission rates here, but I want to ask about vaccine prioritisation. Public Health England has reported that those with learning disabilities have covid-19 deaths up to six times higher than those of the general population, and it is obviously extremely difficult to maintain covid-security in care homes whose residents cannot understand social distancing, yet I am told that they are being deprioritised for the vaccine because Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation guidelines prioritise care homes for the elderly only, and that is interpreted as being those over 80. Can the right hon. Gentleman confirm whether that is the case, and will he give greater flexibility to local public health authorities to reflect risk?