#AceHealthReport – Mar.30: The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised the government to prioritise people for the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine who are over 16 and living with adults who have weakened immune systems, such as those with blood cancer, HIV or those on immunosuppressive treatment including chemotherapy:
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – New vaccine advice for adults living with adults who are immunosuppressed: ‘JCVI recommends that adults living with adults who are immunosuppressed should be prioritised for the #COVID19 vaccine’
Adults who are immunosuppressed have a weaker immune system, meaning they are less able to fight infections naturally. These individuals are more likely to have poorer outcomes following COVID-19 infection and recent evidence suggests that they may not respond as well to the COVID-19 vaccine as others.
There is growing evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines may reduce the chance of someone who has been vaccinated passing the virus on. Given this emerging evidence, the JCVI advises that those over 16 years of age who live with severely immunosuppressed adults are offered the COVID-19 vaccination alongside priority group 6. This will help limit the spread of the virus to immunosuppressed adults.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 Immunisation within the JCVI, commented:
The vaccination programme has so far seen high vaccine uptake and very encouraging results on infection rates, hospitalisations and mortality. Yet we know that the vaccine isn’t as effective in those who are immunosuppressed. Our latest advice will help reduce the risk of infection in those who may not be able to fully benefit from being vaccinated themselves.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at Public Health England, said:
Our surveillance systems and research studies are showing that the COVID-19 vaccines can reduce asymptomatic infection and limit transmission of the virus. By vaccinating those who live with adults who are immunosuppressed, we can further help protect vulnerable people.
Household contacts considered as a priority would be those over 16 who share living accommodation with adults who are immunosuppressed. The JCVI does not currently advise vaccination of household contacts of immunosuppressed children, or household contacts of immunosuppressed adults who are themselves children.
Letter from the Health and Social Care Secretary to the JCVI: 24 March 2021
From:Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
39 Victoria Street
To:Professor Wei Shen Lim
Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation
Chair COVID-19 Immunisation (Nottingham University Hospitals)
24 March 2021
Dear Professor Lim,
Thank you for your letter on 24 March from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) with your advice about COVID-19 vaccination of adult household contacts of severely immunosuppressed adults.
I note your findings that early data indicate lower protection in vaccinated adults who are immunosuppressed and that those with severe immunosuppression are therefore more likely to suffer poor outcomes following infection and are less likely to benefit from the vaccines offered.
I also note your advice that there is now data indicating the potential for a reduction in transmission in those vaccinated. I welcome your advice that adult household contacts of adults with severe immunosuppression should be offered COVID-19 vaccination alongside priority group 6 on the basis that this would in your view reduce the risk of infection in the immunosuppressed who may not be able to fully benefit from vaccination.
I am asking NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I) to take this advice forward and prioritise household contacts of the severely immunosuppressed for vaccination as you recommend alongside priority group 6 in phase 1 of the vaccination programme.
My officials have also shared your advice with colleagues leading the COVID-19 vaccines programmes in each of the 4 nations of the UK.
Thank you for your continued advice and support for the vaccination programme and I look forward to receiving further advice and discussions over the coming weeks.
Cc: Professor Jonathan Van-Tam (DCMO)
#AceHealthDesk report ……….Published: Mar.30: 2021:
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