Updated 20th July 2021 –
Latest coronavirus guidance in your nation
Each nation in the UK has different guidance on dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic:
Mencap has produced a fantastic easy read guide to the latest coronavirus alert levels.
Relief for clinically vulnerable youngsters and their families as some are given access to a Covid vaccine
On Monday 19th July, The government committee on vaccinations and the Vaccines Minister announced that some clinically vulnerable young people aged 12-17 will now be eligible for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.
Who will be eligible?
The Joint Commission on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) have confirmed children aged 12-15 who are at increased risk of serious COVID-19, and young people age 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person should now be offered the vaccine.
Routine vaccination is not recommended outside of these age or risk groups.
Unfortunately, this still leaves a gap in eligibility for other disabled/vulnerable young people and those under 12 still can’t access the vaccine.
Our advice to you
We are so pleased to hear of this announcement and we know it is a huge relief to our Ectodermal Dysplasia families across the UK. We know that some of you are still shielding and are desperate for the vaccine, enabling your children get back to school, friends and some form of normal life.
Until we know more about the planned roll-out to this age group, our advice to you/our families is to contact your GP/clinician to discuss the benefits and risks of having the Pfizer vaccine. If they refuse, please come back to us and we will help all we can.
You can get vaccinated if you are your child’s carer.
Unpaid carers who get Carer’s Allowance, or who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should be prioritised alongside people with underlying health conditions. This means unpaid carers will now be in priority group 6: (see Covid-19 Greenbook).
Our advice to you now would be to ask your GP to mark your medical record with a “carers flag”. It’s a good idea to register as a carer with your GP, regardless of access to the coronavirus vaccines, as this will mean they can identify you for health checks and a flu jab and it will help your GP make reasonable adjustments for the person you care for if needed. There shouldn’t be a reason for your GP to refuse this.
Many of our ED members have faced trouble with being recognised as clinically extremely vulnerable, resulting in being pushed further down the wait list to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. We are very pleased to let you all know we have successfully helped some of our ED community with letters, now granting them the Covid vaccine earlier.
If you feel you have been missed and need help getting the vaccine sooner to enable you to return to work etc. or if you’re GP has asked for a letter of support to show clinical vulnerability in order for you to be moved into the correct category, please use the letter below –
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any further help and information.
Links between Covid-19 and Ectodermal Dysplasia
Diana Perry, along with other professionals, has helped create an article to explain the issues linked between Covid-19 and Ectodermal Dysplsasia, and the problems that can arise from contracting the virus.
We would like to encourage our ED community to use the article below to pass on to their GP/medical professionals. It will help explain the condition to them, how some may be susceptible to infection due to immune deficiency, and to help prove these issues and take it more seriously when seeking their advice.
Be Distance Aware
ED Society #DistanceAware artwork is now available to download for free, to enable you to create your own badges and lanyards. Find out more here.
Now face coverings are mandatory in shops and on public transport, those affected by Ectodermal Dysplasia will struggle due breathing, overheating and other issues.
The ED Society have now created our own face covering exemption card indicating you have ED and are exempt from wearing face-coverings. Find out more
As this is such a worrying time, be vigilant regarding temperature. Those affected by Ectodermal Dysplasia can have a wider range, sometimes as low as 35°C at any age. It is therefore important to know the normal average temperature of an individual affected by ED! We have explained this further – Ectodermal Dysplasia and core temperature – July 2020
ED & Covid – High Risk
The Government and NHS list of diseases and conditions considered to be very high risk includes people with rare diseases, Ectodermal Dysplasia would fall under this category.
We have produced a letter explaining how individuals affected by Ectodermal Dysplsia and their symptoms would class them being in this category. This letter can also offer guidance and advice if needed for those requiring help with shielding
Please use this letter, which will help by explaining ED and its symptoms to your doctor and why a patient with ED should be placed in the high risk category. You can request your GP issues a letter to that effect. They are able to use this information and Diana is happy for you to pass on her number to them discuss it further.
Coronavirus and ED:
We have received a number of enquiries about the advice on frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitisers to reduce coronavirus risk.
Handwashing is the best way to reduce transmission of coronavirus and washing your hands with water and your usual emollient soap substitute should be adequate. Emollient helps remove the virus from your hands during the washing process and serves the same cleansing purpose as soap.
We recommend that you continue to use emollient to wash your hands (decant a small amount into a pump dispenser or pot and refresh daily) and re-apply your emollient afterwards. If you feel you need to use sanitising gel (which may irritate your eczema), apply your usual emollient afterwards to minimise any irritant effect. There is no eczema-friendly hand sanitiser, as they all contain alcohol, which dries out the skin.
In public places where you can’t avoid touching surfaces, try not to touch your nose, eyes or mouth (or your child’s) because the virus gets in through mucous membranes.
There is a possibility of increased risk of chest infection/pneumonia from Covid-19, specifically for people with HED. The flow of mucous is different for those with ED. Respiratory tract infections are a common symptom in general, so it would be sensible for people with HED who have had serious chest infections at any stage (either as young children or as adults) to take COVID-19 seriously and act on the general advice about minimising risk of infection. We advise you use a humidifier at night along with a fan to help keep you cool (and air con if you have it).
The other difficulty with COVID-19 and ED will be temperature issues, due to one of the symptoms being a high temperature. Please remember to continue to act on all cooling methods and products you currently use. Take a look also at our Cooling Tips.
Symptoms of coronavirus:
- a persistent dry cough
- a high temperature
- shortness of breath
But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus:
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Don’t hesitate to call your GP to get the most up to date advice. Calling 111 will give information relating to everyone and not specifically those with ED and who cannot sweat.