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 Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 1:49 pm, 15th July 2021

My Lords, the position of the immunosuppressed is one that we have a huge amount of sympathy for. Those who have blood cancer face a particular challenge. I was very grateful to meet Blood Cancer UK and discuss this matter. The PHE report makes the very clear point that those with suppressed immune systems may have a very strong vaccine response, particularly after two weeks after two doses. Just because someone has a suppressed immune system, it does not mean that the vaccine has left them completely unprotected. I completely accept that the responses of one group and another group may be quite different and it is difficult to lump everyone together. That is why we are investing in the OCTAVE study; I am hopeful it will be published by the end of the month. That will provide some, but not all, the information we need to elaborate on that guidance.