Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the ‘Living with Covid’ plan this afternoon (Monday 21 February) Henny Braund MBE, chief executive of the Anthony Nolan charity, said:
“The Government’s ‘Living with Covid’ plan fails people who are immunocompromised. Blood cancer patients are at highest risk from the virus, yet this plan misses crucial safeguards which would enable them to live safely – they may now have to shield for their own protection.
“We urge the government to keep the self-isolation rule, provide financial support for immunocompromised people who are unable to work from home and ensure free Covid tests are available for all, not just those at highest risk. We are also calling for a dedicated Government lead for people who are immunocompromised, to prioritise clear guidance and support to stop blood cancer patients from being left behind.”
‘Spring booster’ jab offered to the immunosuppressed
Following today’s news that anybody aged over 12 who is immunocompromised will be invited to receive another dose of the covid vaccine six months after their latest dose Henny Braund MBE, chief executive of the Anthony Nolan charity, adds:
“While we welcome today’s announcement, people with blood cancer and stem cell transplant patients are still vulnerable to COVID-19 and cannot rely on vaccination alone to keep them safe.
“While the additional vaccination is welcome, the government must address the wider needs of people who are severely immunocompromised as they release their ‘living with Covid’ plan. This means access to financial support, ongoing COVID-19 testing and mandatory self-isolation for those who test positive. Without these measures people with blood cancer will be left behind as people start to move on from coronavirus.”