Alzheimer Europe has issued a call for people with dementia and their carers to be given priority for the COVID-19 vaccine
People with dementia have almost twice the risk for developing COVID-19 and those who become infected are more prone to developing delirium.
A small number of European countries have prioritised people with dementia for the COVID-19 vaccination, due to the risk category for severe infection. However, in the majority of countries, neither people with dementia nor informal carers have been identified as priority groups for the vaccination.
Therefore, Alzheimer Europe has made the following three demands of European governments:
- Include dementia as a risk category for severe COVID-19, prioritising people with dementia for the COVID-19 vaccine, independent of age, place of residence or other risk factors for severe COVID-19.
- Prioritise informal carers for the COVID-19 vaccine, acknowledging their important contribution during the pandemic to the care, support and even survival of people with dementia, as well as the indirect protection vaccination can confer for the people for whom they care.
- Ensure that reasonable accommodations are made and that support mechanisms are in place when organising and rolling out the vaccine to people with dementia, such as the possibility to be vaccinated at home and to have decision-making support, if required.
Jean Georges, Alzheimer Europe’s Executive Director, stated:
“People with dementia and their carers have often been overlooked and forgotten during this pandemic. Particularly during the early stages of the outbreak, public health measures designed to control the spread of the virus have had profound and often tragic consequences for people with dementia, their families and carers.
Governments must recognise that people with dementia, their families and carers have already been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and ensure that people with dementia and their carers will not be overlooked again in the development and implementation of vaccination strategies.
We urge governments across Europe to revise their approaches to vaccination campaigns and prioritise people with dementia and their carers, allowing a return to some semblance of normality for this vulnerable group.”
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