Adults with Down’s syndrome added to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list

Date published: 26 November 2020

The Department of Health has confirmed that adults with Down’s syndrome have been added to the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) list.

The CEV list is a list of people with specific conditions that place them at the highest risk of becoming seriously unwell if they are exposed to Covid-19. Details of which conditions are included on this list are available on the  NI Direct website at:

Recent evidence indicates that adults with Down’s syndrome are in the high risk category. The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, is writing to all adults with Down’s syndrome to advise them that they have been included on the list, and advise them what this means for them.

Dr McBride said: “It is vitally important that we are able to protect the most vulnerable people in our society from the effects of Covid 19. Including adults with Downs’s syndrome on the CEV list will mean that we will be able to make sure they get the right advice about how best to stay safe as we progress through this pandemic.”

Inclusion on the CEV list applies to adults with Down’s syndrome only; children with Down’s syndrome are not considered clinically extremely vulnerable, in line with the evidence for children generally.

At the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, people on the CEV list were advised to ‘shield’, to protect them from the virus. Shielding has been paused since 31 July 2020.  This positon is kept under continual review.

Notes to editors: 

  1. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email
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  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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