The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been categorized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. This virus may cause additional challenges for people who are already vulnerable and particularly those who struggle with existing health conditions.
The T21RS has launched several initiatives to better understand the risk and to inform appropriate recommendations to protect individuals with Down syndrome against COVID-19, and to understand vaccination side effects and immune response. Many of the T21RS members are now part of a T21RS COVID-19 Taskforce.
Our Clinical and Science & Society Committees have spearheaded the design and implementation of an international survey of COVID-19 in Down syndrome to be completed by carers and clinicians caring for individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The surveys are currently “live” in several countries and available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. We make our findings available at regular intervals to the entire Down syndrome community, and an initial report has been published in The Lancet’s EClinical Medicine.
The T21RS Preclinical Committee has published a review of the relevant scientific and medical literature on the susceptibility for COVID-19 in people with Down syndrome. The goal was to better understand the potential roots of the susceptibility to viral respiratory infections in general for people with Down syndrome, and whether this vulnerability translates into a specific vulnerability to COVID-19.
At T21RS, we are committed to conducting and supporting research needed to understand the following issues:
Whether individuals with Down syndrome are are more vulnerable to severe outcomes because of co-occurring conditions
Whether those with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for complications arising in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection
Whether there are atypical responses to treatments of COVID-19 among individuals with Down syndrome,
Whether their response to current vaccines and side effect profiles, are different from other people.
LuMind IDSC’s Chief Scientific Officer, James Hendrix, PhD, interviewed the Trisomy 21 Research Society (T21RS) COVID-19 Task Force members
Watch the entire webcast interview to hear the purpose and global distribution of the survey plans from the T21RS COVID-19 Task Force members, as well as the preliminary takeaways and how they may be helpful to families and care providers as the pandemic evolves.
T21RS statement on “shielding” or confinementof individuals with Down syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic