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We respond to the first study on vaccine effectiveness in people with cancer

11th Mar 2021

The first study looking at vaccine efficacy in people with cancer patients suggests they "lack the same protection" after the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Gemma Peters, Chief Executive of Blood Cancer UK, said:

“We have been concerned about how much protection the vaccines will give people with blood cancer because vaccines do not usually work as well for people with compromised immune systems. This study, while not peer reviewed and only looking at a small number of people, is worrying news in that it adds to that concern.

"This means that if you have blood cancer, it is important that you do not assume you have protection even after you have had the vaccine, particularly after just one dose, and that you continue being careful to avoid Covid. But while this news is concerning, people with blood cancer should still definitely have the vaccine, as it is safe and even a smaller chance of protection is much better than none.

"Cancer patients 'lack same protection' after first jab"

The King's College London and Francis Crick Institute research team have published the first research into vaccine efficacy in people with cancer.

> Read more

https://media.bloodcancer.org.uk/images/vaccine3.2e16d0ba.fill-530x395.png

“This study highlights why it is so important to focus on vaccine effectiveness in people with blood cancer, but it does not tell us what factors predict if someone with blood cancer is likely to be protected. We urgently need research to get answers for this, and so far the Government has not provided the money needed to carry out this research properly. Until it does, we worry people with blood cancer face a future of shielding indefinitely, not knowing whether they are protected. The Government needs to make this research a priority.

“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation also needs to look again at the evidence on the right timing for the second dose for people with cancer, as this raises questions about whether people with cancer should get the second dose sooner.”

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