Primary or Booster?

In 2021 I had my 2 Covid Primary jabs followed up by a Booster.

In 2022 I received treatment for WM, last Rituximab end of November and permanently on Ibrutinib.

Whilst on treatment I was advised “no vaccines be that for Covid, Flu or Shingles”.
Well Spring Covid boosters announced and I am advised I can go for the Covid and Flu protection although they are unlikely to trigger antigens as the treatment has hit the very plasma cells producing antibodies, and more relevant killed those I had already built up. Basically a ‘shot’ to nothing.

So do I await the national database to tell me I’m due a Booster jab as an Immunosuppressant having a history of previous inoculations or do I go alone, ignore the rigid Government calendar and seek a full Primary reload.

I’m sure I’m not alone on this one. I see myself being confronted by the “Patient doesn’t understand, it’s Boosters only”! brigade.

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Dear @Iain
Thank you for your post. May I ask whether your treatment team have given you their opinion on what vaccinations you should have? I ask this as if you require complete COVID revaccination from the start they would need to provide you with documentation to support this or even arrange for this to happen. The vaccination centres and pharmacies will be providing the Booster programmes as you mentioned, so it is unlikely they will hold stock of the primary vaccinations but this does not mean that it cannot be arranged.
Can I ask which vaccine as your 3rd? If this was Pfizer, that would mean that you have had the equivalent of 3 primary doses as the Pfizer doses were full doses whilst Moderna was only a half dose.
I would ask your treatment team their opinion in the first instance regarding their recommendations.
You can book your Spring Booster from the 5th April 2023 and they will provide appointments from the 17th April, you are eligible and I would suggest taking a clinic letter with you to the appointment once it is made: Covid vaccine for people with blood cancer | Blood Cancer UK
If you do need to talk this through further please do get in touch: Blood cancer information and support by phone and email | Blood Cancer UK
Kind regards

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Thanks Gemma for your prompt and clear response.

You refer to my care team by whatever its name, and there lays a question.
A question I’ve raised before in another thread.

My care team is, as far as I see it anyone treating and advising on my various comorbidities. Hence who calls the shots (no pun intended) with regard to immunisation and blood cancer?
Haemotologist Oncologist give me cytotoxic drugs that raise blood pressure but it’s my GP who gives me ACE inhibitors to protect my kidneys (Diabetic risk).

I trust them as individuals but must question the NHS 'Silo" mentality and data transfer. My GP advised me to get the vaccines but Haemotologist knows my CD20’s, MYD88 etc etc.

I recognise your reference to previous vaccinations. My 1st and 2nd Primaries were Asta Zeneca. As for the Booster I struggle to determine.

I intend to ask my CSN tomorrow but as I say I won’t be the only person who has had any previous immunisation flushed out.

Again many thanks. I’ll keep you in the loop on what advice I receive be it an individual response.


I have come late to this post @Iain and bow to @GemmaBloodCancerUK great response.
Yes, please do let us know what your CSN says tomorrow and take care of yourself

Hi Gemma :wave:
Just been on the phone to CSN re Primary or Booster Covid.

Yes, Ibrutinib hits the B-cells but they see no reason why the offered Booster should not be taken. It’s a ‘shot to nothing’. They have had patients in a similar situation not having to return to square one re Primary vaccination.

They monitor the ongoing antigen count in the background to FBC/IgM checks so they can see immune response even if only minimal. A benchmark figure if nothing else.

As a relevant aside for Flu no problem but of course now out of season. As for Shingles guarded approach to ensure the vaccine given is the non-live variant and not just the “bog standard one the general public get offered”.

Well that tells me what I already know- I’m special :wink:


Hi @Iain we sure are all very special.

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We sure are. Here’s hoping we BC Warriors get the best support against the Covid Lurgy :wink: