Importance of COVID-19 vaccination

by 22q Administrator

Greetings from the Dalglish Family 22q Clinic.

We are writing to remind you of the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations, and new rules for our Clinic and Hospital*. The Delta and other variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 continue to persist, and we will be spending more time indoors as the weather turns colder. We urge you to follow the guidance of public health officials and get vaccinated. Here are our Clinic’s recommendations for the 22q community:

All individuals with 22q should receive the vaccine - the two doses protect very well against the worst effects of the virus, including the Delta variant.

All close contacts (e.g., immediate family members) of individuals with 22q should also receive the vaccine, in order to protect the person in the family likely to be most in danger of getting very sick from the virus (that is, the person with 22q).

*As of October 22nd, 2021, all essential care partners must show their proof of vaccination against COVID-19 when they enter the Toronto General Hospital and other UHN sites. Rare exceptions to the vaccination policy will be made on compassionate grounds (e.g. a patient in an end-of-life situation), or in an emergency. In these cases, a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, received within 48 hours before the visit, will be required.

Note: All staff members of UHN are vaccinated to ensure the Hospital is a safe place for patients and visitors.

All vaccines approved for use in Canada give excellent protection against the COVID-19 disease. None of these contain any live virus. They cannot cause disease. And they are safe for people with immune deficiencies, just as they are for everyone else in the general population. In fact, they are especially necessary for people with 22q and immune deficiencies. Even for people who don’t make antibodies very well, the vaccine will help protect against the COVID-19 disease including the Delta variant of the virus.

Individuals who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection should still receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If you remain unvaccinated, you are more than twice as likely as fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again.

Please note that there are very few acceptable medical exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination. They are:

  • An allergist/immunologist-confirmed severe allergy or anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components that cannot be managed / mitigated
  • A diagnosed episode of myocarditis/pericarditis after receipt of an approved COVID-19 vaccine

A third dose is now available to individuals who meet certain criteria, including:

  • Individuals with moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g. DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)”. “DiGeorge syndrome” is an older name for 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q).
    • Before you go for your third dose, please obtain a referral form or letter from your healthcare provider.
  • Adults 70 years of age and older
  • Health care workers and any staff members in healthcare organization
  • Recipients of one or two doses of the AstraZeneca / COVISHIELD or Janssen vaccine

With flu season approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, it is important to get vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu now. It is safe to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot at the same time.

For more information, please visit the COVID-19 page and flu vaccine section of our Clinic website. If you have any questions about vaccinations or other aspects of your health, please check with your healthcare provider. You can also call us at (416) 340-5145 to make an appointment to speak with one of our Clinic staff members.

Thank you.