Key Concerns from the Shielding Community Participating in the APPG Webinar on Immune-Suppressed People

Speakers, attendees, and the webinar chair in the APPG’s webinar on 21 July on the protection of cancer and immunocompromised patients shared insights into the lived experience of those persistently vulnerable to Covid-19 as public health measures lift.

Drawing over 130 participants and attendees, many of whom joined from the shielding and CEV community, insightful, powerful and moving contributions were shared by many of those in attendance, who have often struggled to get their voices heard by the Government despite their clinical vulnerability and need for greater support and protection.

Representation of the concerns of people most severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and those with persistent vulnerability to Covid-19 is imperative as public health restrictions remain looser and a stubborn circulation of Covid-19 remains.

Below are some of the key concerns raised by webinar attendees the APPG will take forward in our inquiry and communication with the Government.

Immunisation and monitoring

  • Immune response testing: Will routine testing of CEV individuals’ immune responses be made available on the NHS?
  • Booster regime: Can a booster vaccine regime be implemented before the autumn, as cases rise over the summer?

Therapeutic alternatives to vaccination

  • Antibody-rich therapies: When will the stocks of monoclonal antibodies and hyperimmune plasma rich in antibodies be made available?
  • Antibody therapy research: How much funding is going into research and clinical trials for Covid-19 treatments that can benefit those who cannot mount a full vaccine response?

Workplace safety

  • Workplace safety: How can the workplace be kept safe for persistently vulnerable people? What further information needs to be available to clinicians to enable them to provide advice to CEV and immunocompromised people on workplace safety?

Communication

  • CEV children: How soon will the public know if CEV children, and children of immune-suppressed people, will be offered a vaccine? How can CEV and clinically vulnerable children be protected in school in September with their exclusion from vaccination eligibility?
  • Immunosuppressed guidance: Why is there no specific guidance for immunosuppressed people?
  • Study communication: Why is there no website that is presenting all studies on vulnerability and vaccine responses in the public domain?

CEV healthcare workers

  • Home-working: Will there be an option for support with home-working for CEV healthcare professionals with increasing Covid-19 prevalence?
  • National guidance: Will there be national guidance specifically for CEV healthcare professionals, including access to risk assessments, safe working environments, and access to FFP3 masks?
  • Protection and monitoring: Will there be provision of a Covid-19 booster vaccine for CEV healthcare staff, coupled with monitoring of vaccine responsiveness on the NHS?