Down Syndrome and COVID-19 Vaccine Update

UPDATE 3/11/21: Individuals with Down syndrome may receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 17th as part of Group 4

We have been heard – thank you for your advocacy

North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance update on Call to Action: Governor Roy Cooper announced new vaccine priority guidelines that include people with Down syndrome in both Group 1 and Group 4.

NC Department of Health and Human Services decision-makers recognize people with Down syndrome are appropriately considered in Group 1 with the broader definition of long-term care to include long-term home care settings. Adults with Down syndrome receiving supports and services in their homes are immediately eligible for vaccination in Group 1. Group 1 now reads:

It also includes people receiving long-term home care for more than 30 days including Home and Community Based Services for persons with intellectual and developmental disability, private duty nursing, personal care
services, and home health and hospice.

Beginning March 24th, adults with Down syndrome will be eligible for vaccination in the first phase of Group 4 if they do not qualify under Group 1. Group 4 now prioritizes the inclusion of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) list of conditions at increased risk for severe illness due to COVID-19. The CDC added Down syndrome to the list in December, 2020.

Please refer to updated versions of Deeper Dive Group 1 and Deeper Dive Group 4 for complete details:

DEEPER DIVE Group 1 – Health Care Workers and Long-Term Care Staff and Residents
DEEPER DIVE Group 4 – Adults at Higher Risk for Exposure and Increased Risk of Severe Illness (Essential Workers Not Yet Vaccinated and Other Group Living Settings)

In addition to the NCDSA Call to Action with a consortium of Down syndrome organizations across North Carolina, NCDSA worked with state level agencies directly with staff at NCDHHS. NCDSA would like to acknowledge the advocacy efforts of: