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COVID updated information on vaccination

11 October 2021

UKONS had gathered relevant sources of information about vaccination. 

a) Clinician Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and guidance on COVID-19 vaccine for patients receiving Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy

The UK Chemotherapy board has updated its FAQ based on advice on COVID vaccination in cancer care. This was updated from September 2021 to include information for Comirnaty® (Pfizer/BioNTech) COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria® (Oxford University/AstraZeneca) vaccine and Spikevax® (Moderna) vaccine, reflecting updated guidance from JCVI and the MHRA regarding the offer of 3rd primary doses for selected patients with weakened immune systems. The full FAQ section is available here https://www.ukchemotherapyboard.org/publications

b) NHSE letter for TC re; re-vaccination post stem cell transplant 

NHS England has been working with the British Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy and Anthony Nolan to ensure that those who have received a Stem Cell Transplant or CAR-T therapy are offered COVID-19 re-vaccination. In patients who receive stem cell transplants or CAR-T therapy, any protective antibodies from exposure or vaccination prior to transplantation are likely to be lost and it is unclear whether the recipient acquires the donor’s immunity. Linked to this advice is a draft letter which can be used to inform a patient’s registered general practitioner regarding the vaccination requirement. It is recommended that a copy of the letter is also sent to the patient as per normal practice. The full advice and letter is available here-:

www.anthonynolan.org/covid-revaccination-transplant

c) British Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 

The British Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Vaccination Sub-Committee (BSBMT-CT-VSC) has provided some advice on vaccination in patients receiving, or who have received haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. The advice is available here

https://bsbmtct.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/BSBMTCT-SARS-CoV-2-vaccination-statement-15Mar2021.pdf

We understand an updated statement is due for release soon

d) JCVI guidance on 3rd primary dose.

On 5 and 19 August 2021 the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) considered whether some individuals may benefit from a third vaccine dose as part of their primary schedule of COVID-19 vaccination (described henceforth in this document as ‘third primary dose’). This is because individuals who are immunosuppressed due to underlying health conditions or medical treatment may not mount a full immune response to COVID-19 vaccination The full advice is laid out here 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/third-primary-covid-19-vaccine-dose-for-people-who-are-immunosuppressed-jcvi-advice/joint-committee-on-vaccination-and-immunisation-jcvi-advice-on-third-primary-dose-vaccination

e) End of shielding letters in England

The shielding programme has now ended in England. This means that people who were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable will not be advised to shield in the future or follow specific national guidance. The full advice, and an example letter to patients is available here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1018931/Letter_to_patients_-_end_of_the_shielding_programme.pdf

It should be noted that there is differing advice for clinically vulnerable people in Scotland in Wales and in Northern Ireland