If you have a weakened immune system, you can receive a further COVID-19 vaccination this autumn for extra protection.
COVID-19 is still with us and is still making people very ill. If you have a weakened immune system due to a health condition or medical treatment, COVID-19 may affect you more seriously. Your protection from previous doses of the vaccine may now be lower and will continue to decline.
Even though you might not develop full immunity, you may continue to develop some cellular immunity, so even a limited response to a further dose should help to reduce your risk of being severely ill or admitted to hospital if you catch COVID-19.
Experts have advised that the threat from COVID-19 will be greatest over winter. Viruses like COVID-19 spread much more easily when we socialise indoors, so it’s important that you top up your protection with a seasonal booster dose.
How to get your next COVID-19 vaccination
You can have your autumn seasonal vaccine it’s been at least 3 months since you had your previous dose. If you have a weakened immune system, you can book online without waiting to be invited.
It’s not too late to get an earlier dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if you need one. If you’ve not had a 1st or 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yet, you should make sure you have both as soon as possible. If you have had a severely weakened immune system, you should get an additional third dose before you get any booster.
What to bring to your vaccination appointment
If you’re aged under 50, it can help if you bring your invitation, an NHS letter describing your condition or treatment, or a repeat prescription slip or medicine box with a recent date and your name on it. If you don’t have any of these things, you should still be able to get vaccinated, but you may need to speak to a healthcare professional first.
If you’re unable to leave home to get vaccinated and you think you’re eligible for a home vaccination, contact your GP practice for support.
Encouraging household contacts to get vaccinated ahead of winter
If you have a weakened immune system due to a health condition or medical treatment, to improve your protection from COVID-19, please encourage the people you live with (aged 5 years and over) to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
The NHS cannot directly invite household contacts because we cannot disclose to people that they are living with someone who may be clinically vulnerable. We need you inform people you share living accommodation with on most days, and therefore with whom continuing close contact is unavoidable, to get vaccinated.
The online booking service allows self-declaring household contacts of people with a weakened immune system to book appointments.
The people you live with are not required to bring evidence to their vaccination appointment to prove that they are your household contacts, but it could help to bring a copy of the NHS invitation sent to you.
If you or your child have covid-19, or symptoms of COVID-19, you should wait until your symptoms are better before you get the vaccine.
You should ideally:
This starts from the date your symptoms started or from the date of a positive test, whichever was earlier.
The JCVI recommends that patients who received their COVID-19 vaccination before their stem cell transplant or CAR-T therapy should be re-vaccinated.
The timing of re-vaccination should be in line with the British Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (BSBMTCT) recommendations i.e. 2-6 months after transplant or 3-6 months after CAR-T for patients aged 18 and over or 3-6 months after both transplant or CAR-T for patients aged 12-15.
Patients who should receive THREE primary doses followed by a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine:
– Patients within 24 months of receiving an autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplant at the time of their first or second dose.
– Patients at any time after transplant who had ongoing immunosuppression or graft versus host disease (GVHD) at the time of their first or second dose.
Patients who should receive TWO primary doses followed by a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine:
– Patients over 24 months of receiving an autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplant AND who did not have immunosuppression or graft versus host disease (GVHD) at the time of their first or second dose.
Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice on third primary dose vaccination – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
For these patients, re-starting the vaccination process must be completed under a patient specific directive which is not available at vaccination sites and cannot be booked through the national booking system. It requires a prescriber to be present to conduct the assessment and complete the prescription. It is a service that can be offered within both mass vaccination centres in Lincolnshire, but appointments are necessary to ensure the prescriber is available. For any referrals to this service, please email email@example.com who will forward your details to the stem cell clinic and they will contact you to arrange a suitable appointment.