Vaccine priority campaign

Royal Mencap Society

Mencap has campaigned since 2018 to address shocking health inequalities that result in 1,200 people with a learning disability dying avoidably each year. Our campaigning achieved significant success prior to 2020 but coronavirus shone a spotlight on the unfairness people with a learning disability face obtaining equal healthcare. With people with a learning disability six times more likely to die from COVID, and facing mounting barriers to accessing treatment during the pandemic, the government failed to recognise them as a priority group for the vaccine. Mencap quickly mobilised and organised supporters to take action, lobbied decision makers and elevated the voices of experts by experience through unprecedented media and communications coverage, forcing a government U-turn on the issue within weeks. Mencap then lobbied local decision makers and empowered people with a learning disability to exercise their rights to get the vaccine, ensuring they were protected from the deadly virus.