Thursday 28th January 2021

As you’ll no doubt be aware – the coronavirus vaccine has begun to roll out across the UK these past few weeks, and the Government have pledged that by the middle of February, everyone in the top four priority groups, will have been offered a first dose. 

One of these first four groups, is the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ group, which will include many people undergoing active cancer treatment or follow up. 

I just wanted to let you know that there have been some new updates to ‘The Green Book’ (a government document that sets out information on the coronavirus vaccines), which means that some more people will receive the vaccine alongside this clinically extremely vulnerable group. 

The changes mean that from now on, anyone who is planned to start, or are having, chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments can now be recommended for the coronavirus vaccine before their treatment where it is safe to do so. This move brings this new group alongside the clinically extremely vulnerable group in the prioritisation list. 

Clinicians may advise their patients that they should be vaccinated - ideally at least two weeks before they start treatment - however it is important to remember that decisions will always be taken based on the case of the individual patient, considering their current health, their likelihood of exposure to the virus and the risk to their health from COVID-19. Clinically urgent cancer treatment should not be delayed by vaccination.  

This is really welcome news for people who are starting their treatment. If you have any questions about how this affects you, or think you should have been contacted, then please do get in touch with your treatment team. 

Ben Sundell, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Teenage Cancer Trust