Healthcare news

Fears cancer patients missing out on Covid vaccines with confusion over difference between jab and booster

Professor Alex Richter said unnecessary confusion is being caused by two different rollouts happening simultaneously

VULNERABLE patients could be missing out on a life-saving Covid-19 vaccine as confusion grows over the difference between the third dose and a booster, a cancer charity has warned.

Myeloma UK says the terms `third dose' and `booster' are being used interchangeably, leading to uncertainty among GPs and clinicians about which should be given first, if any at all.

It says thousands of patients could be missed off vaccination lists or denied a booster.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation states people with severely weakened immune systems should receive a third dose of a vaccine, followed by a booster around six months later.

"The two are not interchangeable. They are both necessary and must be offered to patients in the right order," said Suzanne Renwick of Myeloma UK.

"It's all in the timing.?We're already seeing patients being offered a booster instead of a third dose.

"This means that they may be missed off the list of people eligible for a booster further down the line - which is absolutely crucial to maintaining their protection against Covid-19.

Nurse specialist Ellen Watters said they are "receiving call after call from patients whose GPs are only offering a booster but not the third vaccine".

"Unfortunately, this is becoming a growing problem and we want to clear up any confusion that could potentially place at-risk patients in harm's way."

Clinical Immunology Professor Alex Richter said "unnecessary confusion" is being caused by " two different rollouts happening simultaneously" and called for clarification.

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