We would like to reassure people that vaccination of cohort 4, which includes all adults with Down syndrome, is continuing. You can see the progress with the vaccination rollout on the Covide19 Ireland website.
The rollout is slower than anticipated, but is improving as vaccine supplies improve. The AstraZeneca vaccine which was recently only advised for people over 60 is now being used for people over 50. Other groups are continuing with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and the Janssen vaccine will also be coming into use.
People with Down syndrome are at very high risk from Covid 19, so the advice for those who have already received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is that they should go ahead with their second dose when offered.
The HSE has confirmed that once the majority of people in cohort 4 have been vaccinated, they will work with us to get the message out to any people with Down syndrome who may have been missed.
If anyone would like to take a picture or short video of themselves going to get vaccinated, this would be really useful both for DSI and for the HSE. We would like to share the images and videos to help reassure other people with Down syndrome who might be worried about vaccination.
As before, the HSE have informed us that the majority of adults with Down syndrome will receive their vaccination through their disability service. They are starting with those adults in residential disability services, followed by those attending day services. These people do not need to contact their GP or the HSE. They will be put on the list for vaccination by their disability service, and given their vaccination as soon as possible.
People with Down syndrome aged 16 and over who are not linked in with a disability service should contact their GP practice over the next few weeks.
GP practices should contact the national vaccination lead for disabilities: Marie Kehoe-O’Sullivan: firstname.lastname@example.org or 087 1523454 to inform her of any people with Down syndrome over 16 years old in their practice who are not linked to a disability service.
Here is a link to the HSE page which is updated regularly to let people in the different groups know who to contact to get their vaccination. https://www2.hse.ie/screening-and-vaccinations/covid-19-vaccine/rollout/
The vaccines currently available have not been approved for use on people under 16, so there is currently no vaccination programme for children aged 15 or younger.
We have some information to support members here:
We are continuing to monitor the situation closely, and will let you know if anything changes.