Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony is advocating for persons who suffer from Down syndrome to get vaccinated against COVID-19 since they are at a high risk of serious complications if they contract the virus.
Down syndrome is a condition that causes a delay in the physical and mental development of a person. It is usually diagnosed just after birth and is considered a disability.
During his COVID-19 Update today, the Minister of Health said down syndrome is also a comorbidity and therefore persons affected by it should get vaccinated for increased protection.
“Persons with this particular disease would have a number of problems. So, they are more likely to have heart problems, problems with their digestive tract, some of them may have problems with leukemia. So, these patients generally will have what we would call a number of comorbidities, and therefore if they are not vaccinated and they get COVID; they will have a more severe form”, Dr. Anthony warned.
In Guyana, while the number of persons who suffer from down syndrome is small, the majority of them are unvaccinated.
Dr. Anthony said the vaccines remain safe and offer the best fight against COVID-19. He said the side effects for persons with down syndrome would be the same as anyone else.
“Like with any other person who comes to get vaccinated. If you get the vaccine some people might have pain at the site of vaccination, some might get a fever, some will have sore muscles. So, these are general side effects person will get when they get vaccinated, it’s the same thing for down’s patients”
The Ministry of Health has been continuing its campaign to get more persons vaccinated against COVID-19. 83% of Guyana’s adult population has received a first dose of one of the vaccines, while 63% of the persons are fully vaccinated.