We’ve been receiving lots of emails and phone calls from people asking about Covid 19 vaccination.
As you know, we have lobbied for all adults with Down syndrome to be prioritised for vaccination, as they have a much higher risk of being hospitalised than other people of similar age if they catch Covid-19. As a result, they were moved up from Cohort 7 to Cohort 4.
Work has now begun on Cohort 4 vaccinations, and many families are proactively contacting the HSE (and DSI) to find out how they can register for vaccination. The information on the HSE website directs people to their hospital team, but we are aware that many adults with Down syndrome do not regularly attend hospital.
From the HSE website:
Group 4 – People aged 16 to 69 who are at very high risk
How you will get your vaccine: We will start to vaccinate people from group 4 through their hospital team. It will take some time to identify and invite everyone in this group but we will move as quickly as possible. You do not need to register in advance or take any action at this time. Your hospital or healthcare team will contact you when it’s your turn to be vaccinated.
NB: We have requested that this information be edited, as it doesn’t apply to everyone in cohort 4.
The HSE are aware that people with Down syndrome will need to be targeted separately. They are starting with people in residential disability services, but once they begin vaccination of people with Down syndrome in the community, we will be informed and we will let you know how to make sure that your family member is included.
It is likely that people connected with disability day services will be contacted through their service providers, but we know that there are people in our community who don’t engage with services and we will ensure that they are not forgotten.
We will stay in close contact with the HSE so that we can communicate accurate information to members.
The latest information from the HSE:
The programme of vaccination for people in Cohort 4 is commencing the week of March 8th. In line with the recommendations of the High Level Taskforce, this vaccination programme will target people aged 18 to 69 years with medical conditions which place them at very high risk from Covid 19. It also targets young people aged 16 and 17 years with high risk medical conditions. A proportion of people within Disability Services are included within Cohort 4. Vaccination rollout for people aged 16-65 in Disability Services will commence this week in residential facilities initially, with a target of 4,000 vaccinations for this week. The programme of vaccination for Cohort 4 will continue in the coming weeks.
We are not currently lobbying for prioritisation of children with Down syndrome for the vaccine for two reasons:
- The vaccines currently available have not been approved for use on people under 16.
- There have been very few cases of Covid 19 in children with Down syndrome worldwide, so we are not aware of any research that has shown they are in a significantly higher risk group.
We will be monitoring the situation closely and will let you know if this changes.
As always, we are giving you information, not medical advice. If you have any concerns do consult with your GP.
If you require any information or support, please contact us on 01 563 2450 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.