Ataxia UK has recently been made aware that some people with ataxia are not being ‘flagged up’ on their GP’s systems as being in the appropriate priority group for the Covid-19 vaccine. Our Medical Advisory Panel strongly advise people with ataxia to have the vaccine when it is offered to them.
Priority Group 4 should include the following:
- Over 70 years of age with ataxia
- Ataxia with any additional comorbidities including: diabetes, cardiac or respiratory complications
- Ataxia with significantly reduced mobility i.e.wheelchair bound or living in a care home
- Ataxia with bulbar weakness i.e.significant difficulties swallowing
- Ataxia taking immunosuppression drugs for comorbidities or autoimmune ataxia
- Ataxia with pregnancy plus underlying cardiac complications.
Priority Group 6 includes individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality. This includes all people who have ataxia and those that care for them (paid/unpaid).
There is different advice about the vaccine for children under the age of 16 years. Please see the leaflet that Prof Giunti and Suzanne Booth (London ataxia Centre, UCL/UCLH) in collaboration with Ataxia UK have written for more details, and for additional information about the vaccines – click here to read. The Association of British Neurologists (ABN) have also produced guidance on Covid-19 and neurological conditions https://www.theabn.org/page/COVID-19
If you believe you have not been put in the appropriate priority group, Ataxia UK have written letter templates that you can edit and send to your GP or neurologist to inform them of the priority groups for ataxia.
For those who believe they should be in Priority Group 4, click here for the letter template.
For those who believe they should be in Priority Group 6, click here for the letter template.
If you have already received a letter from the first lockdown onwards stating that you are in the higher risk group, then there should be no need to contact your GP/neurologist about this.
Please understand that this advice is given on the basis of the limited information provided, and that neither Ataxia UK nor the Medical Advisor can accept responsibility for any actions arising from it.