THE Scottish Government is to give Covid jag priority to people with mild learning disabilities amidst shocking death figures.

Nicola Sturgeon's announcement comes after the Sunday National revealed how Scots with learning and intellectual disabilities were more than three times as likely to die from coronavirus as the general population during the first wave of the pandemic.

Figures from the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory (SLDO) also found this group was also twice as likely to become infected with Covid-19 and to experience a “severe outcome” resulting in hospitalisation.

The findings were revealed after Scots author Ian Rankin told how his son Kit, who lives in a care facility in Edinburgh which caters for people with learning disabilities, had not yet had his jag.

And in England, DJ Jo Wiley revealed her family's struggle for her sister Frances.

Epilepsy Scotland told the Sunday National that all those with learning and intellectual disabilities must be placed in category group six to ensure they don't wait as long for health protection.

READ MORE: Scots with learning disabilities at treble the risk of Covid death, study shows

Until now, only those with severe and profound conditions had been in this group.

Earlier today, the First Minister said she will make the change.

People with mild and moderate learning disabilities will be placed into priority group six, as will unpaid carers.

Group six already covers everyone aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions including diabetes, heart problems, and more, as well as those who have undergone an organ transplant, and the change will take its numbers to around 1million people.

At the daily briefing, Sturgeon said: "We will have some work to do to make sure we are identifying and reaching everyone in that category."

She went on: "Group six is the largest group we will have covered so far. It will take some weeks to cover everyone in that group.

"If you don't receive a letter this week or next, don't worry, we will get to you."

Health teams will use data on benefits recipients and from GPs to reach all those eligible.

Sturgeon said authorities will seek other "proactive" ways to reach those covered by the change and make the process "as streamlined, as simple and as unbureaucratic as we can".

ENABLE Scotland’s director of campaigns and membership, Jan Savage, said: "Thanks to a huge collaborative effort from everyone in Scotland who cares about people who have a learning disability, we have seen a significant change in Scottish Government policy that will be a massive source of comfort and relief for thousands of families across Scotland.

"We are delighted that the Scottish Government has listened to the campaigning voices of our members and supporters and acted on the evidence presented to offer new guidance that will help keep vulnerable people safe from infection and save lives."