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Extremely Clinically Vulnerable Group - Clarification for Blood & Bone Marrow Cancer Patients

Hannah made this Freedom of Information request to The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

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Dear The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation,

Hope you are well given the challenging times we go through.
I am reaching out to you with a request for clarification. In the Definition of clinically extremely vulnerable groups it lists the following:

“people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment“

Does the guidance to shield, and thus becoming part of Vaccination Priority Group 4, solely focus on Leukaemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Cancer patients?
Or are other Blood/Bone Marrow Cancer patients like MPN’s, MDS, etc also included?

Any clear clarification and update to the guidance would be very much appreciate by the community - as it has resulted in inconsistent application of the guidance.

Yours faithfully,
Hannah

Jcvi, The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

Thank you for your email which has been noted. The Secretariat are dealing
with a large volume of queries concerning the advice of JCVI on priority
groups for COVID-19 vaccination and will endeavour to respond queries on
this. Your patience is gratefully appreciated.

 

JCVI continues to work on the consideration and review of vaccines for
COVID-19 and advice for the COVID-19 vaccination programme and will
publish further advice at the appropriate time.

 

The latest statement concerning JCVIs advice on this is available at:
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

 

The JCVI statement on first dose prioritisation is available at:

[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

 

The latest published minutes of JCVI meetings are available at:
[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/joi...

 

Further detail on the groups considered a priority and eligible for
COVID-19 vaccination in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination
programme is available from the Green Book immunisation against infectious
Disease chapter on COVID-19 at:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
2. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
3. https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/joi...
4. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

FOI, The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

OFFICIAL
Dear Hannah,

Thank you for your email.

In order to process your request, please provide us with your real name. As soon as this is provided we will process your request. Under Section 16 of the FOI Act, public authorities have a duty to provide advice and assistance. Accordingly, please visit the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)'s website on the following link which provides guidance on its definition of what constitutes to a real name: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[email address]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

From: Hannah <[FOI #717378 email]>
Sent: 11 January 2021 17:27
To: Jcvi <[email address]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Extremely Clinically Vulnerable Group - Clarification for Blood & Bone Marrow Cancer Patients

Dear The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation,

Hope you are well given the challenging times we go through.

I am reaching out to you with a request for clarification. In the Definition of clinically extremely vulnerable groups it lists the following:

"people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment"

Does the guidance to shield, and thus becoming part of Vaccination Priority Group 4, solely focus on Leukaemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Cancer patients?

Or are other Blood/Bone Marrow Cancer patients like MPN's, MDS, etc also included?

Any clear clarification and update to the guidance would be very much appreciate by the community - as it has resulted in inconsistent application of the guidance.

Yours faithfully,

Hannah

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Dear FOI & JCVI Teams,

Hope you are well.

My name is Hannah de Boer. I look forward to the outcome and clarification of the guidance in the coming days. Thank you for looking into this.

Yours faithfully,
Hannah

P.s. I would appreciate receiving your name in return.

Dear FOI & JCVI Teams,

Hope you are well.

I am following up with my information request. Has there been any news? If no information is available as of yet, what timeline do you envisage?

As the deadline has passed for a reasonable timescale for response, I would welcome any update you could provide. Thank you in advance for your help.

Yours faithfully,
Hannah

FOI, The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Hannah de Boer,

Please find attached Public Health England's response to your request.

FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[email address]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your reply.
Regretfully this does not answer my query at all. The quoted section in my original request is from the government publication - which is merely repeated in your response by quoting a weblink for my ‘convenience’.

See below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

I.e.
“Definition of clinically extremely vulnerable groups
People who are defined as clinically extremely vulnerable are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. There are 2 ways you may be identified as clinically extremely vulnerable:

You have one or more of conditions listed below, or
Your clinician or GP has added you to the Shielded Patient List because, based on their clinical judgement, they deem to you be at higher risk of serious illness if you catch the virus.
If you do not fall into any of these categories, and have not been contacted to inform you that you are on the Shielded Patient List, follow the national lockdown guidance for the rest of the population.

If you think there are good clinical reasons why you should be added to the Shielded Patient List, discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician. People with the following conditions are automatically deemed clinically extremely vulnerable:

solid organ transplant recipients
people with specific cancers:
people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment”

My query remains the need for clarification of the extracted section as follows:
“people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment”

In the current situation some MPN and MDS patients are added to group 4 of the vaccination priority group and some are not, due to unclear guidance.

Please advise if leukaemia, lymphoma & myeloma are the ONLY blood/bone marrow cancers included in the Definition of Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Groups - or if these three types have been mentioned as mere examples and MPN, MDS, any other Blood/Bone Marrow Cancers should ALSO be classified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable.

Yours faithfully,

Hannah

FOI, The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Hannah de Boer,

Please find attached Public Health England's response to your email, which we have treated as a request for an internal review.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[email address]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

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Dear FOI PHE Team,

Thank you for your recent response and your kind help.
What is the possible timeframe in regards to the correction of the guidance medical professionals receive?
When will the information be updated?

Yours faithfully,
Hannah

FOI, The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Hannah,
Regarding the response PHE sent to you under case reference 2773, PHE explained further on the contents of the Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 found here, https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio.... I attach the response again here.
The Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 was last updated on 18 March 2021.

Thank you
Kind regards

FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[email address]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Hannah please sign in and let everyone know.