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COVID-19 vaccination for people with lung cancer

April 2021 Update

COVID-19 vaccination

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

The UK comprehensive vaccination programme is now well underway. Many people who are affected by lung cancer will have received one or both their vaccinations.

The following priority groups were set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The groups are prioritised in a way that minimises deaths from COVID‑19 and to make sure the NHS and social care services can continue to function. 

In practice, this means the vaccines will be given in this 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

The JCVI has also stated that from April 2021, if you are over 16 and share a home with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, you will now be eligible for vaccination. This group will be eligible alongside group 6 above. Your GP practice should be in touch to advise you when you are able to book an appointment.

The four national Governments expect to have reached all nine priority groups by the start of May 2021. By the end of March, more than 31 million people had already received one dose of the vaccine and 5.5 million had received both doses required.

The more people that can be vaccinated, and the sooner the programme progresses, the more restrictions can be eased. This includes stopping or pausing the need for shielding, as is now the case in some areas.

In the UK, three different covid-19 vaccines have now been authorised by the MHRA:

  • Moderna
  • University of Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer/BioNTech

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