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Covid-19 Update – New UK Variant and Vaccines

There is no current evidence that the new UK variant of COVID-19 strain is worse than the previous COVID-19 strain, in terms of severity of illness or risk of death. However, it does spread much more easily, and therefore it is really important to take strict precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes maintaining strict hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing a mask.

Adults with Down syndrome are now included in the list of people classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, and therefore should be offered Covid-19 vaccine as part of that group. There is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine poses any additional concerns for people with Down syndrome compared with the general population, and all eligible adults should be offered and encouraged to have the vaccine. For further information see here.

There is very limited evidence of the safety or efficacy of the vaccine in children, and it should not  be offered. It may be considered on an individual basis for older children/young people (over 12 years of age) who are extremely vulnerable and at high risk of exposure. See here for further detail.

All information relating to Down syndrome and COVID -19 can be found here. This is being updated to take account of new research findings and updated UK government advice as it becomes available .

28.1.21

This site provides essential information for healthcare professionals on ‘best practice’ medical care for people with Down syndrome in the UK and Ireland. It has been produced by the UK Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group (DSMIG), a network of doctors whose aim is to ensure equitable provision of medical care for all people with Down syndrome in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

This site has been developed to provide a resource of evidence based information towards this aim and includes

  • DSMIG Information resources- these are resources developed by DSMIG and include Guidelines for basic essential medical surveillance, key points and awareness notes, Personal child health record insert, Growth charts etc
  • Other Information resources- this is a wider range of resources including articles , other websites that we have found useful
  • Information about DSMIG activities

The website has been developed primarily to equip healthcare professionals with the resources they need to help them provide good, evidence based care for people with Down syndrome.

Although designed for health professionals we hope it will be of interest and use to a wider range of people who are interested in promoting health and well being of those with Down syndrome including parents and carers. We do however wish to stress that it is intended to complement, and never replace, direct medical consultation. For information more specifically designed for parents and carers please see other organisations.

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