COVID-19 information for adults with 22q
Disclaimer: The following information pages are provided for educational purposes only. They are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you have questions or concerns, please discuss them with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Check out our new section on COVID-19 Vaccines
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.
COVID-19 symptoms and treatment (Government of Canada website)
Self assessment (Government of Ontario website)
Note: This year’s flu season is taking place at the same time as COVID-19. To avoid unnecessary risks to your health, please get your flu shot as soon as possible.
How to avoid COVID-19
Although this disease has been spreading quickly around the world, there are a few things you can do to avoid catching it.
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Avoid being very near another person
- “Social distance” means keeping about 6 feet apart (2 metres, or 3 big steps)
- Wash your hands properly and frequently using soap and water
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Wear a mask as an added layer of protection
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands
- Sneeze or cough into your sleeve or a tissue and wash your clothes often
- Disinfect spaces regularly,especially phones, door handles, etc.
- Self-isolation policy for people who have travelled anywhere outside Canada, including the United States
- Assessing the risk of visiting someone during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Tip Sheets from our Clinic and the International 22q Foundation
Getting tested for COVID-19
- Showing COVID-19 symptoms;
- Have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by your public health unit or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app;
- A resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by your local public health unit; and
- Eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care.
Reliable resources for information on COVID-19
COVID-19 Information for individuals with 22q
- From our Clinic
- International 22q Foundation - COVID-19 Resources
- What is COVID-19?
- Why should we stay home?
- Staying calm during COVID-19
- False information and scams
- Immunodeficiencies and COVID-19
- Heart conditions and COVID-19 [Italian version]
- When can we return to work/school?
- PCR vs. Antibody testing
- Masks: Why, When, and How
- Allergies, Cold, Flu or COVID-19?
- COVID-19 Vaccines
COVID-19 Information for individuals with immunodeficiencies
- List of topics (non-forum videos)
- To find out how individuals with immunodeficiencies have been doing when they contract COVID-19, please see the April 10 video (7 min 55 sec) and the May 8 video (9 min 11 sec)
COVID-19 Information for everyone
There is a lot of information on the Internet about the current pandemic, but not everything is accurate.
Please visit the following websites for the most up-to-date and reliable information:
- University Health Network (UHN) - COVID-19 Info/Policies – UHN is the organization that runs the Toronto General Hospital.
- UHN’s COVID-19 Resources
- This site offers pamphlets in other languages
- COVID-19 - What you need to know from the Ontario Medical Association
- City of Toronto
- Public Health Ontario
- Government of Canada - includes outbreak updates, symptoms, prevention, travel, preparation
- A COVID-19 Glossary from the CBC
In the next few months, a number of COVID-19 vaccines will be available for the general public. The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Astra Zeneca Oxford vaccines all give excellent protection against the COVID-19 disease. None of these contain any live virus. They cannot cause disease. So they are safe for people with immune deficiencies, just as they are for everyone else in the general population. Even for people who don’t make antibodies very well, the vaccine will help protect against the COVID-19 disease.
Here are some links with reliable information, including a video from Dr. Kate Sullivan, the world’s expert on immune deficiency in 22q.
If you have any concerns, please check with your doctor.
General information on COVID-19 vaccines
- COVID-19 Vaccines - Info sheet from the International 22q11.2 Foundation
- COVID-19 Update on Vaccines - Video from the Immune Deficiency Foundation (Video by Dr. Kate Sullivan)
COVID-19 Vaccines Questions and Answers from the general media
- Top questions on the COVID-19 vaccine - Video from Breakfast Television, Citytv
- You Sound Off: What are your covid-19 vaccination questions? - Video from Breakfast Television, Citytv
- Once someone is vaccinated, do they still have to wear a mask? Your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered - Article from CBC
- What are the side effects? Is it safe? Doctors answer common COVID vaccine questions - Article from the Toronto Star
- 10 Hot-Button Questions About The COVID-19 Vaccine, Answered - Article from the Chatelaine
What to do for appointments at our Clinic
Please do not come to the Clinic if you have any of the symptoms.
Please see our section on Clinic operations and hospital restrictions during COVID-19.
Please note that Toronto General Hospital has a Universal Masking Policy. Effective Monday, November 23th, cloth masks are no longer permitted at UHN. Everyone entering UHN must wear a medical mask. If you are wearing a mask from home, screening staff will give you a medical mask to wear instead.
- UHN physicians and Nurse Practitioners are the only two healthcare providers who can approve a patient face mask exemption, and must provide exempt patients with a completed Face Mask Exemption Form. Please contact our Clinic at least 1 week before your appointment if you would like a mask exemption. Even with an exemption, patients are required to wear a face shield while at UHN which will be provided at our screening entrances. They will also receive a ‘mask exemption sticker’.
Support and financial assistance
While there are support services and financial assistance available, we urge you to be very careful about possible scams. Please visit the Government of Canada’s Slam the scam website to learn how to protect yourself.
The Center for Disease Control’s page on Stress and Coping
- Pooran Law’s COVID-19 Resource Centre
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with CRA