We're calling on the Government to postpone lifting restrictions on June 21
11th Jun 2021
We've joined with Kidney Care UK to call on the Government in England to postpone plans to lift all Covid restrictions on June 21, to help protect the 500,000 immunocompromised people in the UK.
We believe with infections rising, now is not the time to lift restrictions
The continued rising infection rate means people with blood cancer or those with organ transplants face a difficult couple of months ahead.
Their compromised immune systems mean they remain at high risk from Covid, and it is becoming increasingly clear that people with blood cancer or kidney transplants are less likely to respond well to the vaccines.
Both our charities are worried that while the vaccination programme has dramatically reduced the overall Covid death rate, people with blood cancer or transplants may still be at high risk even if they have received both doses.
We believe that lifting all restrictions at a time when the infection rate is already rising would put immunocompromised people at even greater risk of coming into contact with the virus.
Gemma Peters, Chief Executive of Blood Cancer UK, said: “Many people are now saying we don't need to be too worried about the rising infection rate because vulnerable people have now been vaccinated. But this ignores the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of people with compromised immune systems who don't yet know whether the vaccines have worked for them.
“While we share everyone’s impatience to lift restrictions, people with blood cancer, transplants or auto-immune conditions cannot be the collateral damage in the country getting back to normal. They already make up a much higher proportion of intensive care admissions for Covid than they did earlier in the pandemic, and we have grave fears for what would happen to them if we see a return to the kind of rates we saw in January.
“Given so many people are still vulnerable, it would be reckless to further ease restrictions at a time when the virus is growing exponentially. The Government should urgently announce it is delaying the opening for at least two weeks, to give the vaccination programme the chance to bring the pandemic under control.”
Fiona Loud, Policy Director of Kidney Care UK, said: “Whilst many people are keen to return to a more normal way of life, emerging data is highlighting that the belief that ‘everyone is safe once they have had the vaccine’ is simply not true. We need the government to prioritise funding and publishing research into the effectiveness of vaccines for those who have weakened immune systems and take immediate action to protect up to half a million people who may be at risk.”
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