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Neuroendocrine Cancer Community

NCUK update re Covid19 vaccine(s)

Dec 7, 2020

NCUK update re Covid19 vaccine(s)

Please note : as with all aspects of care for those with Neuroendocrine Cancer, NCUK recommends discussion with your specialist team to ensure you have all of the information you need, tailored to your specific circumstances, to ensure that decision-making is informed and that any concerns or questions can be discussed.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine(s)

Many potential vaccines are being developed, however, they will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.

Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved will go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The UK has some of the highest safety standards in the world.

A vaccine will only be used if it’s approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) : who have been monitoring every stage of coronavirus vaccine development.

How vaccines work

Vaccines teach the immune system how to create antibodies that protect against diseases.
The clinical view is that it’s much safer for the immune system to learn this through vaccination than by catching the diseases and treating them.
Once the immune system knows how to fight a disease, it can often provide protection for many years.

Herd immunity

Having a vaccine may also benefit the wider community through “herd immunity”.
If enough people are vaccinated, it’s harder for the disease to spread, especially to those people who may not be able to have certain vaccines. For example, people who are ill or have a weakened immune system. Further information on herd immunity is available here.

It is planned that the vaccines, once passed by MHRA and available, will be offered to people who are most at risk from coronavirus, before being offered more widely.

The Pfizer vaccine did not include immunosuppressed patients, so we do not know how it will affect that group.
Information will be updated regularly on the website but more data will unfold in real time re various groups.

Age is seen as the most important risk factor and the roll out will be focused on that.
PHE (Public Health England) has a green book that includes guidance and precautions for the vaccine for HCP’s and it was asked that autoimmune community (including those with no/low immunity) could be included in that.
(DHSC Covid-19 vaccine briefing with charities and patient groups 3/12/2020)

COVID19 vaccines and cancer

Alongside vaccine development – scientists are also working on an antibody combination treatment that may provide temporary protection (up to 1 year) to those with a weakened immune system, who may be less likely to develop immunity following vaccination alone.

Vaccination priority groups: Interim advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination – updated 2/12/2020 see here

COVID19 vaccine and Neuroendocrine Cancer


To date the clinical trials that have taken place have involved tens of thousands of people, and none have shown any serious side effects that cause concern.

It will be the MHRA – who are responsible for licensing vaccines – to decide which vaccines are appropriate for which people based on results from clinical trials.

Your specialist Neuroendocrine Cancer team will have this information, alongside your personal medical history and clinical information and will be able to provide expert informed advice on your individual risk and specific benefit of any vaccine.

For further information on COVID19 and updates regarding the vaccine(s):

Latest guidance and vaccine updates visit:

NHS advice:

Public Health information (PHE):

We are aware that there have been some concerns raised regarding those with a history of allergic reactions – please, as stated above, check with your specialist care team before deciding on the vaccine and as with any and all vaccines, notify those involved in your care if you do have a history of anaphylaxis and/or you carry an epipen.

Confirmation of MHRA guidance to vaccination centres here