We already know that the vaccines do not guarantee full protection against COVID, but most of us can rest assured that after getting both doses, our risks will be severely limited. Most of us, not all.
Exposed to the virus
While a majority of the population can enjoy several freedoms after vaccination, thousands of Brits will still be confined to what some patients are calling a ‘never-ending lockdown.’
Several patients of cancer, particularly blood cancer, have found that despite taking both jabs, they did not produce anyantibodies—leaving them completely exposed to the virus. Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President of Facebook EMEA, spoke with Evening Standard about living with blood cancer during the pandemic, and she said:
Despite having the vaccine I am one of those people who have no antibodies at all. Tragically, the charity Blood Cancer UK has already started hearing stories from families of people with blood cancer who have had the vaccine but then gone on to develop Covid and die.
No action from the government
Over 230,000 people have blood cancer in the UK. Given that these patients are already immunocompromised, the risk of getting severe, even fatal forms of COVID, is much higher for them. Additionally, the current vaccines have been ineffective for many of these individuals, leaving them completely vulnerable to the virus and to the easing restrictions. According to Mendelsohn, the government has taken little action to help these people get the protection they need. She added:
We’ve seen the Government spend countless millions on public health messaging, but it feels like it has been silent on the lifesaving message that people with compromised immune systems need to continue being careful even after having a vaccine.
Given the urgency, you would think the NHS would be taking samples from everyone with blood cancer as part of a national effort to get answers.
But despite promises, the Government has failed to fund the research properly.