Hi @MANS643 and welcome to the forum. We totally understand the confusion and lack of information around the 3rd vaccine, booster vaccine and monoclonal antibody treatment.
The UK government has announced that severely immunosuppressed adults and children aged 12 and over will get a third dose of the covid vaccine this autumn.
The third dose is for people who had weakened immune systems at the time of their first or second vaccination, and who might not have produced enough antibodies from the vaccine. The third dose is part of the primary treatment and aims to increase the level of immunity gained from the vaccine. Please note that this is different from the booster jab, which other vulnerable groups are being offered, and which aims to extend the length of time the protection lasts. People who get a third dose of the vaccine this autumn may also get a booster vaccination in around six months’ time, but this hasn’t been confirmed.
The group offered a third dose includes people who:
• are having treatment for blood cancer, or are in remission after having treatment in the previous 12 months
• had either an allogeneic or autologous stem cell transplant in the previous 24 months
• had a stem cell transplant more than 24 months before, but had ongoing immunity issues
• are on watch and wait (active monitoring) for any type of blood cancer.
We’ve been assured that there is room for clinical judgement on who gets the third dose. So groups that aren’t specifically mentioned in the guidance but are considered to be at high risk can get a third dose.
The government has also announced that a vaccine booster programme is starting in September 2021 across the UK. This is a separate programme from the third dose for severely immunosuppressed people (see above).
The booster programme aims to extend the protection that people with healthy immune systems have already gained from their first and second doses. The same priority groups that were used for the vaccine roll-out will be used for the booster programme, with added flexibility on timing to make sure that people get their booster six months after their second dose.
The groups offered a booster include:
• Anyone ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ or ‘clinically vulnerable’ who doesn’t have immunosuppression (because anyone with immunosuppression should be given a third primary dose instead - see above).
• Household contacts and unpaid carers (aged 16 or over) of people with blood cancer (household contacts and unpaid carers aged 12-15 won’t be offered a booster yet, if they’ve only had their second dose recently).
• those living in residential care homes for older adults
• all adults aged 50 years or over
• frontline health and social care workers
It is advised that the third primary dose should ideally be given at least 8 weeks after the second dose – although special attention should be paid to current or planned immunosuppressive therapies. The booster will be offered no earlier than 6 months after completion of the primary vaccine course.
For more information about the third dose and/or the booster, visit our webpage https://bloodcancer.org.uk/support-for-you/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-vaccine-blood-cancer/how-to-get-vaccine/
With reference to Monoclonal antibody treatment from AstraZeneca (PROVENT trial). AstraZeneca have said they will now prepare to submit their trial results to the regulators (MHRA in the UK) to seek approval to make this drug available to people. If the MHRA approves its use, the government and health departments will need to plan how to roll out this medicine to people in the UK. We haven’t got the details about how this will be administered and the gap from last dose of vaccine to Monoclonal antibody treatment.
We will monitor this closely and update our information as soon as we hear more, but this is positive news for people with blood cancer.
We hope this is helpful to you, but please do remember, our Support Services Team are always here if there’s anything you’d like to talk through further: Blood cancer information and support by phone and email | Blood Cancer UK