Continuation of Vaccination Programme

We have been contacted by members for advice about whether their teenager with Down syndrome is likely to be prioritised for vaccination. We have checked with the HSE, and have been informed that while children who may be at higher risk are being particularly encouraged to take up the offer of vaccination, there is currently enough vaccine supply to ensure that all children aged 12-15 can be vaccinated, so no structured prioritisation system is needed.

We have also had calls from a small number of members who are worried about possible vaccination side effects, so we have contacted the HSE to get updated information about this. They have published the following information to address concerns for deciding on vaccination for 12 to 15-year-olds.

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*Update – 11/8/21

*There is a very broad consensus that vaccination is especially important for young people with Down Syndrome, in particular for those with cardiac disease and other conditions that are associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19 – The HSE has published the following general information to address concerns: Deciding on COVID-19 vaccination for 12 to 15 year olds.

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As you can see from the information, there are many benefits to vaccination, however, one of the rare side effects is inflammation of the heart. You may need to discuss this further with your GP before making a final decision about whether your son or daughter should be vaccinated.

Most adults with Down syndrome should now be fully vaccinated. There may be a small number waiting for their second dose of the Astra Zeneca Vaccine, and anyone who has been waiting for longer than 12 weeks should contact the HSE to let them know.

See information here about getting your second dose and about when you might need to contact the HSE.

In the meantime, you may find the below links useful in answering some questions you may have:

Our dedicated Covid-19 section is populated with all of the information/supports and lobbying we have developed or acquired over the course of the pandemic, you will find downloadables such as our What is a Vaccine pdf – that are designed to support families with communicating the need for vaccination with our members. 

We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will let you know if anything changes.