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Please, keep your distance to protect people with blood cancer

17th May 2021

As today’s relaxation of covid rules come into effect (Monday 17 May) we're urging the public to continue respecting people’s personal space to help protect people with blood cancer.

Blood Cancer UK CEO Gemma Peters urges the general public to keep their distance

There are 230,000 people in the UK with blood cancer...

...who are at high risk from covid, and who do not yet know if they have been protected by the vaccines because they have weakened immune systems.

Until there's more evidence about how well the vaccines work for them, people with blood cancer are being advised to continue to take extra precautions to avoid the virus.

While today’s easing of restrictions will be celebrated by many, it will be a difficult day for people with blood cancer who do not know when they'll be able to start getting back to normal.

We're here for anyone finding today difficult

Today we've extended our support line opening hours, and anyone can call 0808 2080 888 between 10am and 9pm.

We're also encouraging the public to assume that everyone they walk past might have blood cancer and so still be potentially vulnerable, and so to continue respecting people’s personal space.

Kate Keightley, Head of Support Services, said: “For many people with blood cancer, today will be difficult. They have spent over a year avoiding social contact and will be watching people meeting up indoors with a sense of regret that they can’t yet be there with them.

“People with blood cancer tell us can be stressful when other people get too close to them when they are out in public, and this can put them off from getting outdoor exercise and meeting friends and family at a distance. Our fear is that this could get worse with the lifting of restrictions, and so we’re appealing to the public to assume that everyone they come into contact with could have blood cancer and so still potentially be at risk from covid.

“Given the great success of the vaccine programme, it’s easy to assume everyone who is vulnerable is now protected. But it’s important to remember that there are still hundreds of thousands of people with compromised immune systems who are vulnerable to covid and don’t yet know if they are protected. The more thoughtful people are when they’re out in public, the more that people with blood cancer will feel comfortable to be outside with them.”

Research could give people with blood cancer the answers they need

We're calling on the Government to properly fund the research that will give people with blood cancer answers about whether they are likely to be protected from the vaccine. In the absence of enough government funding, we're raising money to pay for the research studies that will give people better answers.

You can donate at www.bloodcancer.org.uk/vaccine-research

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Your donation will mean that we can fund the research needed to find answers so that those who are protected can get back to normal life and those who aren’t can be supported.

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