All three of the COVID-19 vaccines - Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Moderna - that have been approved for use in the UK are considered safe for patients who are immunosuppressed.
While the vaccine might provide a lower level of protection in people who are immunosuppressed compared with the rest of the population, it is still very important to have it as will provide with significant protection against catching COVID-19. It is also important that you receive two doses of the vaccine to maximise the protection that vaccination offers you.
Data from the NHS Blood and Transplant registry supports the recommendation that people who have had an organ transplant or are on the waiting list should have both their vaccinations.
Research into the effectiveness of the vaccine in people who are immunosuppressed is currently taking place and we received the following update from the DHSC in June 2021.
"We are largely awaiting results of the OCTAVE study for this. As part of the National Core Studies Immunity Programme, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is providing initial funding of £1.8 million for 12 months towards the OCTAVE study.
The OCTAVE study will examine the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in clinically at-risk groups. This includes COVID-19 vaccine responses in patients with certain immunosuppressed conditions, including those with inflammatory disorders, high risk cancer patient groups, and patients with severe kidney and liver disease. Cancer patient groups include those with blood cancer (leukaemia, myeloma, and bone marrow (stem cell) transplants).
Key sample timings include 28 days and 6 months post vaccine boost. Results will be available within 3 months of sampling date. It is estimated that that initial results for the immediate response to vaccine (28 days post vaccine) will be available across the majority of the cohort by the middle of June.
This will provide us with a more accurate picture of how effective the vaccine is if you are immunosuppressed."