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2nd vaccine for 12-15 year olds living with someone immunosuppressed

Hi I wonder if anyone has experience of this? After a long wait my 15 year old child got her first Pfizer vaccine. She was then offered a second 4 weeks afterwards; however, after queuing for over an hour, the nurse refused to give the jab because the usual interval between jabs is 8 weeks. I pointed out that the government’s own published guidance is simply that the gap should be a minimum of 3 weeks and that Pfizer’s own research was done on a 3 week interval and showed 100% vaccine effective in that age group. I argued that the circumstances here (the intent to protect me) merited the early second jab rather than waiting and would not be detrimental to my child; however, the nurse still refused. I am not criticising the staff here, just the massive confusion in the system for delivering a vaccine which could literally be a matter of life or death. Has anyone any related experiences?

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I think in this case the nurse was following the correct guidance. The official JCVI guidance, enshrined in the “Green Book”, says

Children and young people aged 12 to 17 years who are in recognised risk groups (tables 3 and 4) should receive their second dose at an interval of at least eight weeks. A decision on when to offer the second dose to healthy children and young people is pending further evidence on the safety of a second dose in this age group.

As you say though, Pfizer themselves recommend a 3-week separation between the doses, so whether the UK’s 8-week policy is optimal or not is one for the doctors to argue about. Some evidence seems to suggest that the UK’s gamble to go for a longer separation may have actually paid off -

For both adenovirus vector and mRNA vaccines, there is evidence of better immune response and/or protection where longer intervals between doses in the primary schedule are used. (Amirthalingam et al 2021, Payne et al, 2021, Voysey et al 2021). Based on this evidence, longer intervals are likely to provide more durable protection. JCVI is currently recommending a minimum interval of eight weeks between doses of all the available COVID-19 vaccines where a two-dose primary schedule is used.

The good news is that everyone seems to get very good protection from a single dose, so hopefully your daughter is well protected and in turn is protecting you too.

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Oh @davecpep a great big welcome to our forum, you are certainly in the right place.
How frustrating for you and your daughter and as you say everyone is just trying to do the right, safest thing from different angles.
If you would like to speak to someone at Blood Cancer UK the support line details are above.
Look after yourselves.
How are you and your daughter feeling now?

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Thanks for your thoughts on this. I was expecting the second dose to be after 8 weeks to be honest and was surprised when the invite came. The frustrating thing is that the invitation and the subsequent refusal were both from the same vaccine centre! Perhaps this exemplifies the confusion around these “special case” vaccinations, which sit outside the main vaccination programme - I also had trouble getting the 3rd vaccine dose myself, though after a lot of chasing and knock backs I was fortunate enough to get it last week. I know many others are still struggling. As for the JVCI, I’m afraid they have lost credibility in my eyes as they are yet to publish the data which informed the decision to delay (and then advise a single dose) for 12-15 year olds, despite this being counter to expert thinking across the world. In fact I understand they have not published any minutes since February, which is of concern.There is a lot to be thankful for of course, and it may be the case that I am more protected than I think. Take care

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Thanks for the welcome and for your concern. We are doing ok thanks, having accepted that it will be 8 weeks as originally expected. As I mentioned in my reply to Muppet, the frustration was that the invitation and then refusal (after over an hour’s wait) came from the same centre! I have fortunately had my third vaccine now which is a positive, though the best news would be to learn that the anti-body jab arising from the PROVENT research had approval and was to be rolled out!

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That must be so so frustrating! My children are waiting until they get it at school. I gave up trying to get it earlier!

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I don’t blame you - we only beat the school roll out by a couple of weeks. Do keep pushing though, because if they are under 16 they will only get a single dose (though to be fair that may well be very effective) rather than a double.

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Yes - I will. How was your daughter after the vaccine? Any side effects?

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My grandchildren who live with me were told they could not have 2 nd vaccine .However I booked an appointment via the vaccine help line & my daughter took them along .At first she was told no 2 nd dose for their age group .My daughter asked to speak to the senior clinician at the vaccine centre &was immediately told they could have the 2 nd dose this was exactly 8 weeks after1st dose . The vaccinator gave them their jab & apologised for her earlier refusal ,saying No one had given them that advise.We live inScotland & there is so much confusion about vaccine information.The govt need to get out clearer information to protect those of us who are vulnerable.I feel the vulnerable have now become invisible.Does. Anyone else feel the same.

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Completely agree. The muddle is even worse when it comes to third vaccine and boosters. And meanwhile the daily figures and creeping up and nobody seems to want to do anything about it…

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Hi @Thelimes I am so glad that your daughter was persistent and that your grandchildren got their 2nd vaccines.

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I have been told only today by the schools immunisation team that my 12 year old daughter won’t be getting a 2nd vaccine because she isn’t immune suppressed or in any treatment.
She had an early vaccine ( because she lives with me) but I had to fight for that from GP.
It’s all so difficult when it really shouldn’t be.

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I’ve been told the same x

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Yet a school newsletter has been sent out this evening saying some children will be offered 2 vaccines if they live with someone with a weakened immune system….and that’s it. No how we access it or anything. :see_no_evil::see_no_evil::see_no_evil::see_no_evil::see_no_evil:

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Oh @Limadi isn’t everything such a struggle to get something done.
Perhaps it is worth showing the schools immunisation team the school newsletter !!

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What a mess! It would really help everyone if there was a consistent message coming out. I feel your frustration @Limadi . Hope it gets resolved quickly and puts your mind at rest.

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