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New Guidance on Clinical Vulnerability

The Down Syndrome Association publish new guidance on clinical vulnerability, regarding Covid-19 and people aged 18+ who have Down syndrome

On Tuesday, 3rd November, the Department of Health and Social Care announced that adults (18+) who have Down’s syndrome have been added to the list of people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable. The decision has been agreed across all four nations of the UK by their Chief Medical Officers.

This update was released prior to England heading into its second national lockdown. Everybody in England must follow the national lockdown guidance from Thursday, 5th November.

The Down Syndrome Association Say... 

The DSA and other stakeholders have been engaging with the Department of Health and Social Care, the Welsh Government and NHS England to help them understand the implications of this decision, and to develop appropriate communication and support for people who have Down’s syndrome. We have been informed that very few children are at highest risk of severe illness due to the virus and that research studies have not found evidence that children who have Down’s syndrome are at higher risk than children who do not have Down’s syndrome.

We understand that the findings of the new research are worrying, and that being added to the group of people who are clinically extremely vulnerable will prompt many different reactions…from relieved, to worried, to upset. How it effects the way people live their lives will need careful consideration and support to make the decisions that are right for them as individuals (within the guidance issued) and the communities they are part of.

The DSA wants to assure each and every person in our community that we are there for them and fighting for what is best and right. We will continue to advocate strongly for the unique and individual needs of every person who has Down’s syndrome.

The Government are advising people in England who are clinically extremely vulnerable to take the following precautions:

  • Socialising: Stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors to exercise or attend health appointments. People can exercise with those they live with or in their support bubble
  • Work: If people cannot work from home, they should not attend work.
  • Going outside: Avoid all non-essential travel

Helpful links

  • Read The Down Syndrome Association - New Guidance
  • Easy Read Guide for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable - click here


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