My suggestion would be using the JAWS links list feature, and activating it from there. I really don't understand why you're having the problem you're having, but trying another method to gain focus on the link would be my first choice.
Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042
One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
~ André Gide