Thank you for contacting me about vaccines for the family members of those with blood cancer.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the first priorities for the current Covid-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.
I understand that JCVI has given consideration to the vaccination of household contacts of those who are immunocompromised, including blood cancer patients. However, at this time there is no data on the size of the effect of Covid-19 vaccines on transmission. Evidence is of course expected to accrue as the rollout of the vaccine continues, however I am told that until that time the committee is not in a position to advise vaccination solely on the basis of indirect protection. Once sufficient evidence becomes available, I am assured that the committee will consider options for a cocooning strategy for immunocompromised people, like those with blood cancer.
Separately, I understand that those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should be offered a vaccine alongside those in priority group 6, that is individuals aged 16-64 with underlying medical conditions.
I am incredibly encouraged by the progress that we are making in this vaccination programme. Of course, all of this work will take time, so for now we must all play our part by staying at home and abiding by the restrictions to suppress the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP