Coronavirus: Blood Cancer (Vaccine)

Dear Constituent,

Thank you for contacting me about vaccines for the family members of those with blood cancer.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the first priorities for the current COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.

I understand that JCVI has given consideration to vaccination of household contacts of those who are immunocompromised, including blood cancer patients. However, at this time there is only limited data on the size of the effect of Covid-19 vaccines on transmission, although evidence so far is promising. Further evidence is of course expected to accrue as the roll-out of the vaccine continues. In advance of this further and conclusive evidence, the committee is not in a position to advise vaccination solely on the basis of indirect protection Once sufficient evidence becomes available I am assured that the committee will consider options for a cocooning strategy for immunocompromised people, like those with blood cancer.

Separately, I understand that those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should be offered a vaccine alongside those in priority group 6: individuals aged 16-64 with underlying medical conditions.

I am incredibly encouraged by the progress that we are making in this vaccination programme. Of course, all of this work will take time, so for now we must all play our part by staying at home and abiding by the restrictions to suppress the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.