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Down syndrome may up Covid-19-related death risk: Study

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Researchers have found that down syndrome is associated with a 10-fold increased risk for Covid-19-related death.

Down syndrome (sometimes called Down’s syndrome) is a condition in which a child is born with an extra copy of their 21st chromosome – hence its other name, trisomy 21.

 

This causes physical and mental developmental delays and disabilities.

“Although the down syndrome was not specifically mentioned on official lists of conditions that put people at increased risk, the condition is associated with immune dysfunction, congenital heart disease, and pulmonary pathology,” said study author from the UK.

Therefore, it may be an unconfirmed risk factor for severe Covid-19, the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, reported.

For the findings, researchers from the University of Oxford, the University of Nottingham and the University College London studied a cohort of 8.26 million adults through a ‘QResearch’ database to evaluate if the down syndrome is a risk factor for death from Covid-19.

The authors found an estimated a 4-fold increased risk for Covid-19-related hospitalisation and a 10-fold increased risk for Covid-19-related death in persons with Down syndrome.

“We are unaware of the effects of down syndrome on Covid-19 outcomes being reported elsewhere yet during this pandemic,” the study authors wrote.

They stressed this novel evidence should be used by public health organisations, policymakers, and health care workers to strategically protect vulnerable individuals.

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UK approves Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

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Britain on Wednesday approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on independent advice of its medicines regulator.
The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.
“The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use,” a UK Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said in a statement.
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Experts at the MHRA have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness after months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data.
Care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable will receive the vaccine on priority basis.
“The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) will shortly publish its final advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine,” the spokesperson said.

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