Covid-19 - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:49 pm on 15th July 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Stroud Baroness Stroud Conservative 1:49 pm, 15th July 2021

My Lords, on 9 July a Department of Health and Social Care press release claimed that, for those who are immunosuppressed, vaccine effectiveness after a second dose is 74%, with

“similar protection to those not in an at-risk group.”

But this was based on an extremely small sample size. In response, Blood Cancer UK’s chief executive Gemma Peters said that

“its ‘confident, definitive assertions’ about the level of protection given to the UK’s 230,000 blood cancer patients could not yet be supported by the ‘wider body of evidence on vaccine efficacy in the immunocompromised’”.

I am aware that my noble friend the Minister has already commented widely on this issue, but could he comment specifically on those with cancer, particularly those 230,000 blood cancer patients? What intention do Her Majesty’s Government have to clarify this guidance and ensure that the immunosuppressed have access to the necessary resources to help improve their understanding and decision-making?