On 1 September it was recommended that immunosuppressed people
be prioritised for a third vaccine dose, following evidence that they may not
be as fully protected following two jabs as healthy people.
But Kidney Care UK and Blood Cancer UK say many are still
waiting for a third dose thanks to delays and confusion, putting them at risk
in the lead up to winter.
“It is simply not good enough, and kidney patients deserve
more than this. They feel completely let down and many have told us this is the
most worried and anxious they have felt throughout the entire pandemic.”
Fiona Loud, Policy Director at Kidney Care UK, said: “This
lack of clarity is causing a huge amount of stress, anxiety and frustration
amongst thousands of kidney patients…
Charities say they are deeply concerned that immunosuppressed
people are being made to wait for third coronavirus jabs.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said those
undergoing chemotherapy, HIV patients or people who have received an organ
transplant, should be jabbed again as soon as possible and on the 2 September NHS
England said GPs should contact those eligible by 13 September.
Blood Cancer UK said something has “clearly gone badly wrong with the rollout” as they have been inundated with calls for people who can’t access jabs from GPs.
“In some cases, GPs or treating teams haven’t been aware they should be giving people with blood cancer a third dose; other GPs or treating teams want to give people a third dose but are struggling with the process,” it said.
Steve Harrison from Lincolnshire (pictured via Kidney Care UK) had a kidney transplant in December 2020 and is eligible for the third dose but has been struggling to arrange it. “Arranging the third vaccine has been a nightmare,” he said. “Neither my consultant or my GP knew about it. I sent them both the letter that the JCVI had already sent out and was told a week ago that it would be arranged.
“I chased it again this week only to be told that nothing has been organised and I still haven’t been identified as being in need of the third dose.”