Beating bowel cancer together

COVID-19 vaccine to be available for bowel cancer patients from next year

Thursday 3 December 2020

The Government has accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use.

This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has published its latest advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine, including clinically extremely vulnerable people such as bowel cancer patients.

The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week for care home residents and workers, NHS staff and people over the age of 80, but the bulk of the vaccinations, including for people with bowel cancer, will be in the New Year.

The vaccinations will be delivered through hospitals, vaccination centres and in the community with GPs and pharmacists.

Many people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, who were asked to 'shield' earlier in the year may have a weakened immune system and may not respond as well to the vaccine. This is why it is very important that clinically extremely vulnerable people should continue to follow Government advice on reducing their risk of infection.

Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive at Bowel Cancer UK, says: "This is a really promising step forwards in returning to some sort of normality and will be reassuring to people affected by bowel cancer, who have been shielding and have made great sacrifices throughout 2020.

"We'd like to see decisions made quickly by the relevant bodies in the UK to make the vaccine available for bowel cancer patients, who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We need to understand more about when bowel cancer patients are likely to receive the vaccine, and what measures will be in place for people with weakened immune systems, and we'll be raising those issues with the Deputy Chief Medical Office in the coming days."

  • Visit our coronavirus hub for support, guidance and information on coronavirus and bowel cancer

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