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Open letter from NHS, charity and community leaders to people with a weakened immune system

We join together as NHS and charity leaders to encourage people with a weakened immune system to continue to book in or visit a walk-in centre for their COVID-19 vaccines. All individuals aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed are advised to receive a Spring booster dose of the vaccine, typically six months after their last dose.


COVID-19 is still out there and the vaccine offers the best defence against becoming seriously unwell, staying out of hospital and passing on the virus to loved ones and others around you. It is safe, effective and free for everyone, with thousands of convenient appointments every day. You do not even need to be registered with a GP practice to receive your vaccine.


If you are immunosuppressed, either due to a health condition or medical treatment, you may not yet have the best protection you can possibly get from the vaccine. Additionally, there may be some people who are immunosuppressed who have not been vaccinated at all and we urge them to come forward.


You should usually be contacted by the NHS when you are due a Spring booster. Please do take up this offer. If you haven’t heard and you think you may be eligible then you can book a vaccination and come forward.


The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommends that people with a weakened immune system receive their Spring booster as close as possible to six months after their last dose for maximum protection. However, the booster can be given from three months where necessary, depending on individual circumstances.


The NHS has made some changes which means it has never been easier to get your booster if you are immunosuppressed. After booking, you can bring one of several documents to the appointment to confirm you are eligible. This could be a letter from your GP or specialist advising you get the jab, a hospital letter about your condition or medication, or a prescription or medication box with your name and a date on it.


If you don’t have any of this evidence to hand, don’t worry – just speak to a clinician when you arrive for your appointment.


Vaccination appointments can be booked quickly and conveniently by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination, where you can also find out which vaccines you are eligible for. If you can’t go online, telephone 119 for the same information – calls are free and translators are available on request.


Whether one of your vaccines is overdue or you haven’t had your first yet, please be assured that it isn’t too late. We encourage you to book an appointment today.


Yours sincerely,


Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director, NHS England and NHS Improvement Steve Russell, National Director for Vaccinations and Screening, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Dr Nikita Kanani MBE, Deputy Senior Responsible Officer, NHS Vaccine Deployment, and Medical Director for Primary Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Dr Jonathan Leach OBE, Medical Director for COVID-19 Vaccination, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Dr Bola Owolabi, Director, Healthcare Inequalities, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Henny Braund MBE, CEO, Anthony Nolan

Gemma Peters, CEO, Blood Cancer UK

Genevieve Edwards, CEO, Bowel Cancer UK

William Jones, CEO, Brainstrust

Alex Lochrane, CEO, The Brain Tumour Charity

Baroness Delyth Morgan, CEO, Breast Cancer Now

Mr Sharif Kaf Al-Ghazal, President, British Islamic Medical Association

Pamela Healy OBE, CEO, British Liver Trust

Matthew Patey OBE, CEO, British Skin Foundation

Dr Sanjeev Patel, President, British Society for Rheumatology

Professor Frank Chinegwundoh MBE, Chair, Cancer Black Care

Ian Walker, Executive Director of Policy, Information and Communications, Cancer Research UK

Jane Lyons, CEO, Cancer52

Rev Charles Kwaku-Odoi, Chief Officer, Caribbean and African Health Network

Eddie Chan, Co-Chair, Chinese Welfare Trust

Sarah Sleet, CEO, Crohn’s and Colitis UK

Louise Ansari, National Director, Healthwatch England

Umesh Sharma, Chair, Hindu Council UK

Samantha Dixon, CEO, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

Nick Turkentine, CEO, Kidney Cancer UK

Paul Bristow, CEO, Kidney Care UK

Zack Pemberton-Whiteley, CEO, Leukaemia Care

Fiona Hazell, CEO, Leukaemia UK

Paul Howard, CEO, LUPUS UK

Dr Anthony Cunliffe, National Clinical Advisor Primary Care, Macmillan Cancer Support

Nick Moberly, CEO, MS Society

Sophie Castell, CEO, Myeloma UK

Deborah Gold, CEO, National AIDS Trust

Dr Charlotte Augst, CEO, National Voices

Ali Stunt, CEO, Pancreatic Cancer Action

Diana Jupp, CEO, Pancreatic Cancer UK

Laura Kerby, CEO, Prostate Cancer UK

Helen McAteer, CEO, The Psoriasis Association

Richard Davidson, CEO, Sarcoma UK

Sue Farrington, CEO, Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK

Emma Willis, Co-CEO, Shine Cancer Support

Kirit Mistry, Chair, South Asian Health Action

Dr Binita Kane, Co-Founder, South Asian Heritage Month

Annwen Jones OBE, CEO, Target Ovarian Cancer

Kate Collins, CEO, Teenage Cancer Trust

Ian Green, CEO, Terrence Higgins Trust

Deborah Alsina MBE, CEO, Versus Arthritis

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