The advice – which has remained the same since the vaccination programme began – stems from the ongoing research into the vaccine efficacy amongst clinically extremely vulnerable people.
The research so far has been carried out in small groups, making it hard for scientists to draw meaningful conclusions about the data. However, some research suggests that the Covid vaccines are not as effective in people with blood cancer, leading clinicians to recommend people in this group be extra cautious as restrictions are lifted.
Antibody response isn’t the only way to measure immune response
It is important to note that many of the research projects are looking at antibody response as a way of measuring immune response to the vaccine. “This is only one measure of immune response,” explains Dr Shirley D’Sa from UCLH. “There are other factors that play a part in immune response but are far more difficult to measure.” This means you can still have protection from Covid, even if your antibody response is low. You can read more from Dr D’Sa and Dr Dima El-Sharkawi about measuring immune response to the vaccine here.
Measuring your personal risk
Your personal risk is unique as there are so many factors that can affect it, such as your age, how much contact you have with others and the level of Covid infection in your area. Healthcare professionals use a variety of these factors to advise individuals, and if you have any concerns at all about your personal risk at developing Covid, we recommend speaking to your healthcare team.
Expert clinician advice for people with Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia
As always, WMUK has been monitoring the research and working in tandem with our WM expert clinicians to ensure we have the most up to date advice for people living with WM.
Until we have more concrete research, our clinicians are unanimous in their advice: take extra precautions to protect yourself against the virus, even if you have both vaccines. These precautions include:
- Assessing your personal risk and take action to minimise that risk – watch our webinar with Dr El-Sharkawi where she talks about assessing your risk
- Taking lateral flow tests if meeting friends and family
- Continuing to adhere to the ‘mask, face, space’ guidance, despite any changes to overall restrictions