Planning an extended trip to Spain in our campervan early next year (2024). I’ve had Paxlovid twice now and it was really helpful in reducing effects of Covid19. Knowing the treatment is available (if hard to get) here in the UK has meant I’m less anxious about going out etc. For this reason, it would be good to have an emergency supply to take abroad when we go in January/February. Does anyone know how I can do this - GP and Consultant don’t seem to be able to help although they’re usually super-helpful in all other respects! Look forward to some suggestions . . .
@beverleyanny thank you for posting. I am also going in our campervan next June to Spain and never even thought of this. But as only diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) on the 28th this is a huge learning curve. Xx
Oh @beverleyanny great to hear from you again.
Interesting question that has raised the thought with @Derma as well
I think the key in your post is ‘hard to get’.
It is often quite hard to get for people in this country when they actually get Covid.
Perhaps a private GP/Consultant, I don’t know.
I hope someone else can help you.
Look after yourselves and enjoy your trips
@Erica I found an item on line that you can get this drug on prescription in certain areas of Spain ie Andalucia and Northern Spain so it would mean going to a Spanish Dr if the need was there. I’m seeing my haematologist early Jan for a review of my epo injections so I will ask then and i will also ask at my Dr if you can purchase them privately as you suggested Erica - good call. I’ve had to give up skiing and swimming so I don’t want to close down another very enjoyable activity. Xx
@Erica Having read some of the eralier posts on here re vulnerability i feel i may be somewhat naive with my expectations. Especially as it took so long for my health issue to be taken seriously but im crossing my fingers and toes to try and put a positive spin on what is a less than great life at the moment. Sorry if that sounds off. Xx
Hi @Derma your post certainly did not sound off.
This is the one place where we can be really honest about how we think and feel.
Sometimes even our nearest and dearest cannot understand as others on here can.
Just be very kind to yourself and give yourself time and keep posting
I also found those items ref. prescriptions in Spain, @Derma but would feel happier to have them with me before leaving the UK! As @Erica says, this is a really helpful and honest forum, so don’t think you’re being naive . . . I’ll try contacting my GP and consultant again, I think and keep posting here with any updates
@beverleyanny I follow a motorhome forum and one of the guys lives in Spain i asked him about prescriptions over there just in case we cant get them here but and its a big but €700 for 5 tabs. So will try to sort something here i think. I need to find out if my neutrophils will/can improve as they are rather low at the moment - where i would stand infection wise. I’ve been lucky so far fingers crossed. Trying to take it all in is a struggle which loads of you have experienced i’m still at baby steps stage. Xx
Just tried phoning our most helpful Haemotology Nursing Support team at the hospital. They advised trying 111 (I need to brace myself before contacting them due to previous bad experiences!) as the Consultants aren’t allowed to prescribe even in you’re in the UK (I knew this from when I last had Covid, but hoped it may have changed . . . wishful thinking). Will keep you posted - I’ve sent a message to my super helpful GP, but expect them also to be ‘locked out’ and, feeling very strong and positive will then try 111!
Hope you’re keeping well, @Derma.
Hi Beverly its very early days for me as only diagnosed on the 29th with Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and still getting my head round all the implications with infections. My big problem is fatigue but had my 4th EPO injection today and hoping they will work for me. I’m so pleased that you have so much knowledge of how the system works or doesn’t - please keep in touch. Wishing you and yours a good christmas with no unwanted surprises. Norma
Hello again, Norma. Today I braced myself to phone 111 having heard from my GP that, like the Consultants, they’re not allowed to prescribe antivirals for Covid19 (even if you’re in the UK!). The call handler at 111 was most sympathetic when I explained I wanted to take a pack of Paxlovid, which I know is safe for me, in my ‘emergency bag’ when travelling abroad. Once again, the answer is ‘no’, but why not try 119? I pressed every single option on the phone to hear an auto-response: ‘this service is now closed, phone 111 or your GP’. Finally, someone answered. Although friendly and sympathetic she could only suggest calling 111 again!! Back at Square 1, I decided to call my travel insurance company. My lymphoma is a ‘declared condition’ on the insurance. The call handler was most helpful, we repeated the questions ref. ‘declared condition’ only to find that as a ‘watch and wait’ patient it is ‘declined’ (ie not covered by the insurance). However, if I’m on holiday any illness/health issues are extremely unlikely to be linked with the lymphoma eg if I break a leg or indeed catch Covid19, I can still seek medical assistance and make a claim on the insurance! This seems a fair compromise that I’ve decided to go with, no cover for any ‘lymphoma-related’ health issues and a saving of £35 ‘upgrade’. Hopefully, I won’t need to claim for anything but will certainly feel less anxious as I’m ‘covered’ in terms of Covid19 risks. Phew!! Sorry for such a long post - hope it’s helpful. xx
Thank you for all your efforts Beverley. I think i need to clarify with my haematologist my possible issues so that I can contact my insurer in Jan after my next appointment. She might even suggest something that i can have that could make me less prone to the possibility of infections albeit not covid. i’ll let you know what my insurer comes up with next year. I wish you and yours a good Christmas and that you enjoy better weather in Spain. Norma
@beverleyanny I asked my haematologist about Paxlovid at my appoinment today and was told that you can’t have them unless you have covid as you have already said but I thought it was worth asking. I have decided that if I can get the insurance I’m just going to go as I dont want to put my life on hold. I was told that bacteria is more of a problem for me than a viral infection so I’m going to accept what she says. I had flu in January last year but nothing before or since so we will see. I’m thinking you are already in Spain so I hope you are having a good time and are keeping well. Norma.
Hello. Just joined forum so not even sure if I am doing this right. I phoned GP last week and asked about taking Covid treatment on holiday with me - I have Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). They said I can’t. It has to be prescribed at the time and given within 48 hours. I am worried about being on a cruise ship and would the cruise ship carry these drugs. Has it happened to people on here before? Thank you.
@BarbaraG I was told the same. Would travel insurance cover it? I’m still looking into insurance for after June as Nationwide will cover me for my trip to France and Spain as i booked the ferry before being diagnosed but after that they wont cover me for Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Norma
Hi @BarbaraG welcome to our forum and you posted brilliantly.
Perhaps you might contact your cruise ship provider and ask them the question.
I hope others can share their experiences as well.
I hope you can go on your cruise with peace of mind, look after yourself and please do keep posting as I look forward to hearing more about you.
Hi there, @BarbaraG and @Derma (Norma). Sorry to be so late in responding! It seems that the UK Government rules are such that we cannot be provided with anti-virals to take on holiday in anticipation of, perhaps, catching Covid. I did a lot of research and no-one can give a sensible reason: Haemotology team at hospital, GP, 111/119 services etc. We can get prescriptions for many other treatments, but not Covid anti-virals that we’d be entitled to if we became ill whilst in the UK! The most helpful advice I’ve had is from my travel insurance from Nationwide FlexPlus Account. I’m on ‘watch and wait’ (active monitoring) and they won’t cover anything related to my lymphoma. However, if I get Covid, which is unrelated to the blood cancer, I understand they would cover pharmacy costs for getting Paxlovid (anti-virals I’ve had before). As @Erica suggests, maybe the Cruise Ship Company medics can advise? Like Norma, I’ve decided to stop worrying about it and just go on holiday! Ferry booked for the campervan, Newhaven-Dieppe 18 February, destination southern Spain, back after Easter. It seems to me that as with most of the Covid-related ‘policy’ for so-called ‘vulnerable people’ it’s more about protecting supply/contracts than supporting those of us who’d like to have a life! Welcome to the Forum! Beverley
Thank you for getting in touch. Funny, I have my blood test today and phone appt next week with my nurse. I am also on watch and wait and take no medication at the moment. I was diagnosed a year ago. We never went abroad last year as I was waiting for a gallbladder operation. I will discuss next week with nurse. I have spoken with GP who told me I couldn’t take it with me. I thought that would make more sense. To no avail.
I wondered if anyone had contacted Covid whilst on holiday and what had happened and contacted the Forum but I never heard from anyone who had experienced it. I am with Allclear Insurance. I have 2 holidays planned. A short trip end of Feb and a cruise end of March. Both holidays involve flying.
Now I know the name of the drug I will ask cruise line if they have it in stock onboard. To be honest I am dreading it but I don’t want to live my life “in a bubble”. I never told Hubby about the drug as I thought it wouldn’t be a problem. Now he is really worried and wished we hadn’t booked.
Thank you so much for contacting me and listening to me waffle on.
@BarbaraG @beverleyanny Hi both i have just insured with Allclear. Nationwide would not cover me for any trips other than my one to Spain in June as i had booked it before being diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). They wouldnt cover me for Cholesterol, DVT’s or Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) where as Allclear have covered all. It was obviously more than i normally pay but covers me for 45 days which i usually pay an extension for. I tried the recommended insurer but it was much more expensive for a lot less. I was also worried about the possibility of an antibiotic drip in hospital if required as that could have been really expensive £ks. Thank you Barbara for the heads up on Allclear. Enjoy your holiday Beverly. Norma xx
Glad I could help. I have Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Let’s hope we don’t have to make any claims .