Jo Whiley reveals disabled sister is finally getting COVID-19 vaccine

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read
Jo Whiley and her sister, Frances, introduce Newton Faulkner, as part of the 2009 Mencap Little Noise Sessions. (Credit: PA)
Jo Whiley and her sister, Frances, introduce Newton Faulkner, as part of the 2009 Mencap Little Noise Sessions. (Credit: PA)

Jo Whiley has confirmed that her younger sister Frances, who has a rare chromosomal condition and diabetes, is finally due to receive her COVID-19 vaccine this weekend.

In February, the 55-year-old radio DJ spoke of her shock that she had been offered her first vaccine dose ahead of her clinically vulnerable sibling.

Frances is 53 years old and has Cri-du-chat syndrome, which causes delayed development.

Read more: Ozzy Osbourne receives first vaccine dose

At the time Whiley received her invite for a vaccine, Frances was in hospital after catching the coronavirus following an outbreak at her care home.

This week, Whiley told listeners to her BBC Radio 2 show that Frances has been invited to receive her first dose.

Watch: Boris Johnson receives first dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

She said: "My sister gets her vaccination this coming weekend. It has been a long time coming.

"You have to wait a month after you have had COVID, but it finally comes this weekend so we could not be happier about that as well."

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Frances was released from hospital in February after suffering complications caused by the virus, which led Whiley and other family members to even discuss potential plans for end-of-life-care.

In the wake of Frances being discharged, Whiley tweeted: "I hope the vaccine is reaching more and more of those with Learning Disabilities. Not everyone has been as lucky as us. 

"So many have died or are suffering from long COVID because they were simply not protected. We need to show them that they are not forgotten and we care."

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When Whiley was offered her vaccine, she said she would give it up "in a heartbeat" if it meant that her sister could be immunised.

Thanks in part to Whiley's campaigning, adults with learning disabilities have increasingly been prioritised to receive vaccinations as the programme continues.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson received his first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday night at St Thomas' Hospital in London, where he was treated when he contracted COVID-19 a year ago.

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