We are being assured by the HSE that the vaccination of cohort 4, which includes all adults with Down syndrome, is continuing. We are hearing from members that the majority of adults with Down syndrome have been offered their first dose of vaccine, with many now getting their second dose.
Anyone who has been waiting for longer than 12 weeks to be offered their second vaccination, should now contact the HSE and let them know. (This will mostly affect people who had the Astra-Zeneca vaccine)
We have been contacted by 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 come back to us very quickly with the following information to address concerns:
The HSE is not aware of any evidence that people with Down syndrome are at increased risk of vaccine-related adverse effects. Vaccines have been administered to many people with Down’s syndrome in many countries. We have had no indication of specific concern from the safety monitoring systems in place in Ireland or elsewhere. The HPRA in Ireland is very alert to adverse events and there are strong links with EU safety monitoring systems.
There is however very good reason to believe that people with Down syndrome are at greater risk from COVID-19 which is why they have been prioritised for vaccination. We would strongly recommend that people with Downs syndrome complete their vaccinations to ensure they are given as much protection as possible from COVID-19 including the Delta variant.
We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will let you know if anything changes.