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Slow rollout of third doses ‘endangering immunocompromised patients’

The government’s failure to quickly roll out third doses of the Covid vaccine to clinically vulnerable people and those with weakened immune systems is endangering thousands of lives, patient groups and experts have warned.

Immunocompromised individuals currently account for one in 20 Covid patients being admitted to intensive care, according to a new analysis by Blood Cancer UK.

These people are less able to mount an immune response after two doses, so are therefore being offered a third to keep them protected. This is separate from the ongoing booster programme, applicable to all over-50s and health care workers.

However, a recent Blood Cancer UK survey suggested that less than half of people with blood cancer, who make up about 230,000 of the 500,000 immunocompromised people in the UK, had been invited to receive their third dose by the second week of October.

Other clinically vulnerable people have reported struggling to book an appointment via their GP practices after being told by NHS England to come forward for a third vaccine dose.

With the situation in Britain reaching a “tipping point”, charities and scientists are fearful the number of immunocompromised in intensive care could further worsen in the weeks to come if they remain unable to access booster jabs.

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Source: The Independent, 21 October 2021


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