Supporting the

Neuroendocrine Cancer Community

Vaccination Update March 2023: COVID Vaccination

Mar 16, 2023

Vaccination Update March 2023: COVID

Infections, such as pneumonia or COVID, can seriously impact on the symptoms experienced, quality of life and overall health of all patients with Neuroendocrine Cancer – particularly those with DIPNECH and/or a Lung Primary, those who may have had their spleen removed and/or those with reduced/lowered immunity.

Infection can lead to cancer treatments, such as surgery, radionuclide therapy (PRRT) or chemotherapy, being delayed, halted, or prevented.

COVID vaccination

COVID-19 is a very infectious respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine booster doses are offered seasonally. The next COVID-19 booster doses will be available later in the year and if you are eligible the NHS will contact you when it’s your turn to be vaccinated.

Booster doses are an important part of protecting yourself from COVID-19 – if you’re at increased risk.

Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may decline over time. Booster doses are offered to help you maintain strong protection from becoming seriously ill or needing to go to hospital if you catch COVID-19.

Many people with COVID, may not have any symptoms or only experience mild symptoms. These commonly start with cough, fever, headache and loss of taste or smell.

Some people will feel very tired, have aching muscles, diarrhoea and vomiting, fever and confusion.

A small number of people may develop severe disease, which may require hospitalisation or admission to intensive care.

There is no cure for COVID-19 although some newly tested treatments do help to reduce the risk of complications.

The UK government has, this month, produced “A guide to the COVID-19 spring booster 2023”.

Some of you may have already received a letter inviting you to have a ‘Spring Booster’.

The guidance applies to England and states that:

People aged 75 years and older, residents in care homes for older people, and those aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system will be offered a booster of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine this spring.

 COVID-19 is more serious in older people and in people with certain underlying health conditions. For these reasons, people aged 75 years and over, those in care homes, and those aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system are being offered a spring booster of COVID-19 vaccine.

 You should be offered an appointment between April and June, with those at highest risk being called in first. You will be invited to have your booster around 6 months from your last dose, but you can have it from 3 months.

  Those who may have a weakened immune system include those with:

  • blood cancers (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • lowered immunity due to treatment (such as steroid medication, biological therapy, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy)
  • lowered immunity due to inherited disorders of the immune system
  • an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • diseases that affect the immune system such as poorly controlled HIV
  • other diseases or treatments as advised by your specialist

Full GovUK (for England) guidance is available here

For Wales, The Welsh Government (Llywodraeth Cymru) has produced similar guidance and refers to the Green Book for information on risk groups (Chapter 14a, Table 3 (over 16s) page 24-25, Table 4 (under 16s) page 26).

For Scotland, NHS Inform guidance can be found here

For Northern Ireland, the Department of Health guidance can be found here