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COVID-19 vaccination for people with lung cancer

January 19th Update

COVID-19 vaccination

We have been encouraged by the vaccines that are now available to help prevent the spread of virus that causes COVID-19 infection. These have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MRHA).

Across the UK, the NHS has started its comprehensive vaccination programme, following priorities set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The first priorities should be preventing people from dying from COVID-19 and protecting health and social care staff and systems.

Secondary priorities could include vaccinating people at increased risk of hospitalisation and at increased risk of exposure, and to maintain resilience in essential public services.

In practice, this means the vaccines will be given to people in order:

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

It is not possible to give assurances about when people in these groups will get their vaccination Depending on vaccine supply and the system for vaccinating people, national Governments have estimated to have, for example, those in groups 1 to 4 vaccinated by mid-February, and all nine by the start of May.

The more people that can be vaccinated, and the sooner the programme progresses, the quicker some of the restrictions we are all now facing can be eased, including stopping the need for shielding.

While universities and pharmaceutical companies have fast‑tracked these vaccines, they have maintained rigorous standards for health. There is also still a huge amount of development work happening across the world.

Some other medicines, previously developed to prevent or treat other respiratory and influenza‑like viruses, are part of ongoing research to see if they can be “repurposed” or adapted to help with COVID-19. The research builds on existing evidence and experience of managing other related viruses.

People with lung cancer are asking us many questions about COVID-19 and vaccinations and we have tried to answer some of them here:

If you still have any questions or concerns about vaccinations, or are worried about lung cancer and COVID-19, please phone our confidential Ask the nurse service on freephone 0800 358 7200, or email lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org