College urges cancer patients to ‘remain calm’ until GPs are given new guidance on Pfizer vaccine schedule
Publication date: 11 March 2021
The College has responded to a new research study recommending a review of the Pfizer vaccine schedule for cancer patients – and urges patients not to immediately contact their surgery or vaccination centre direct to try and book appointments for their second doses.
Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:
“This is disappointing, especially when GPs are working hard to deliver the vaccine in order to protect as many people as possible as quickly as possible – but it’s also a salutary warning that there is still a way to go before we are safely out of this crisis.
“We understand that this is a difficult situation and that patients will be very worried, but we urge people to remain calm.
“GPs and their teams themselves will only just be finding out about this and will therefore not be in a position to answer patients’ concerns or provide quick solutions.
“Difficult though it is, we ask everyone to try and be patient while we seek urgent guidance about the implications of the study findings from the JCVI committee that advises the Government - and not to immediately contact their surgery or vaccination centre direct to try and book appointments for their second doses.
“It’s important to note that these findings apply to patients with cancer and that the evidence for other patients continues to suggest that the first dose of the vaccine provides a good level of protection.
“We also need to reiterate the importance of other measures for keeping patients safe, such as shielding, social distancing and face protection.
“Research is vital as new vaccines are developed and rolled out.”
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Notes to editor
The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.