Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) are among the groups with the highest risk for severe COVID-19. Better understanding of the efficacy and risks of COVID-19 vaccines for individuals with DS may help improve uptake of vaccination. The T21RS COVID-19 Initiative launched an international survey to obtain information on safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for individuals with DS. De-identified survey data collected between March and December 2021 were analyzed. Of 2172 individuals with DS, 1973 (91%) had received at least one vaccine dose (57% BNT162b2), 107 (5%) were unvaccinated by choice, and 92 (4%) were unvaccinated for other reasons. Most participants had either no side effects (54%) or mild ones such as pain at the injection site (29%), fatigue (12%), and fever (7%). Severe side effects occurred in <0.5% of participants. About 1% of the vaccinated individuals with DS contracted COVID-19 after vaccination, and all recovered. Individuals with DS who were unvaccinated by choice were more likely to be younger, previously recovered from COVID-19, and also unvaccinated against other recommended vaccines. COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be safe for individuals with DS and effective in terms of resulting in minimal breakthrough infections and milder disease outcomes among fully vaccinated individuals with DS.
Full-text (no cost): https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040530