Following news today (Wednesday 2 December) that the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been approved for use in the UK, Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan says:
'Today’s announcement paints an extremely positive picture for stem cell transplant patients for whom 2020 has meant many months shielding and time away from their families, work and education.
'The vaccine has wonderful potential to give stem cell transplant patients and their families more freedom as we move into the next phase of the pandemic. They deserve quick access to the vaccine, and we welcome the prioritisation of people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV). However, only some stem cell transplant patients fall within the CEV group. All transplant recipients, regardless of how long it has been since they received treatment, must be considered a priority.
‘The guidance states that healthcare staff working with vulnerable patients should be prioritised. This must include staff working with stem cell transplant patients – who have been shown to be particularly vulnerable to the virus.
‘We're now keen to see the detail of how and when patients who need, and have received, stem cell transplants will receive the vaccine. We are here to offer help and support for haematopoietic stem cell transplant patients to make sure they get the vaccine.
'It’s vital we understand more about how effective the vaccine is for immunocompromised patients, including stem cell transplant patients, and we will be working closely with the clinical and research community to quickly track how effective it is.'