500,000 immunocompromised people, who are at particularly high risk from Covid, live in the UK. Because their weakened immune systems meant they were less likely to have been protected by the first two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine than the general population, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended they have a ‘third primary dose’ eight weeks after their second dose (whereas other groups were to get a booster six months after their second dose). But the complexity of this system meant that huge numbers of immunocompromised people were left waiting for a vaccine invitation that never came.
In this blog for The King's Fund, Gemma Peters, Chief Executive of Blood Cancer UK, examines the challenges people with blood cancer and others with compromised immunity faced during the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out. She argues that NHS England must fix these issues by establishing a register of immunocompromised people and a reliable way of contacting them, tackling misinformation and publicly acknowledging the issues people with compromised immune systems have faced to date.
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