COVID-19 spring booster
The latest advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on 21 February 2022 recommends that individuals aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed should be given a spring booster dose. This includes people undergoing chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy, bone marrow or stem cell transplant recipients, and people diagnosed with leukaemia or lymphoma.
As a minimum, 3 months should have elapsed since your previous COVID-19 vaccination dose. This is being advised as a precautionary measure to increase immunity levels and provide a better vaccine response, based on studies and experience with other vaccines.
You can get your vaccine by:
- booking an appointment via the National Booking System and selecting to book “a booster for people with a weakened immune system aged 12 to 74 years old”
- or attending any walk-in clinic offered by your local vaccination centre, community pharmacy or hospital hub. You can search for walk-in clinics in your local area on the NHS site finder
You might need proof of your current diagnosis or treatment which can be a letter from your specialist team. Contact your specialist team if you don't have a letter which describes your cancer diagnosis or treatment.
Further information about the COVID-19 vaccine can be found on the NHS website.
Treatment for COVID-19
If you are currently living with cancer or have had cancer treatment in the last 12 months, you might need treatment if they test positive for coronavirus. These treatments can stop you from getting seriously ill and need to be given quickly after you start to have symptoms.
- You should keep lateral flow tests at home.
- You must keep lateral flow test kits at home so you can get tested quickly if you have any coronavirus symptoms.
- You won't be automatically sent tests but you can request them on GOV.UK or by calling 119 if you don't have any.
- You can use any lateral flow tests supplied by the Government. Tests bought from a shop (including pharmacies) cannot currently be registered via GOV.UK or 119.
- You should take a test if you think you have coronavirus.
- If you have coronavirus symptoms you should take a lateral flow test immediately, even if your symptoms are mild.
- You must report your result on the GOV.uk COVID-19 reporting website or by calling 119 and provide your NHS number and postcode correctly.
- If your test is negative but you still have symptoms, you should take another test on each of the next 2 days (3 tests in total over 3 days).
- If a test confirms that you have coronavirus call your GP, 111 or specialist team
- Following a positive test, most eligible patients will be contacted by the NHS to assess symptoms and discuss treatments.
- However, the NHS cannot identify and contact all patients, and this applies to you.
- Once you receive a positive test result, immediately contact your GP, 111 or your specialist cancer team. They will be able to make a referral.
- Once you are referred, the NHS will contact you about treatments that may be available to you. You will be asked about medication you are taking, including vitamins. They will then advise which treatment, if any, is suitable, and make any necessary arrangements.
You can find out more information on the NHS coronavirus treatments website.