Among groups at higher risk of dying from COVID-19, such as people with diabetes, people with DS stand out: If infected, they are five times more likely to be hospitalized and 10 times more likely to die than the general population, according to a large U.K. study published in October. Other recent studies back up the high risk.
Researchers suspect background immune abnormalities, combined with extra copies of key genes in people with DS—who have three copies of chromosome 21 rather than the usual two—make them more vulnerable to severe COVID-19. “This is a vulnerable population that may need protective policies put in place,” says Julia Hippisley-Cox, a clinical epidemiologist at the University of Oxford’s medical school and senior author on the U.K. study.
On 2 December, the United Kingdom’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended prioritizing people with DS for speedy vaccination. But the more than 200,000 Americans with DS so far are not slated for early vaccination. Nor has the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) included DS in its list of conditions it says boost the risk for severe COVID-19.
Here is the article, surely this merits further discussion as we allocate vaccines? And note this higher mortality risk holds even after controlling for other factors, such as living in group homes. And here you will find the original study.