While there is no difference in the ingredients of the vaccine and booster, and therefore no medical risk to receiving a booster instead of a third dose, it is key for medical staff to administer them in the correct order and make sure immunocompromised patients get as much protection from the virus as possible.
Suzanne Renwick, Head of Clinical Practice Services at Myeloma UK, said: “We’re very concerned to hear that some GPs and clinical specialist teams don’t quite understand that a third primary vaccine is part of patients’ standard vaccination schedule and that people with severely weakened immune systems, such as myeloma and other blood cancer patients, will need a booster after they’ve received their third dose.
“The two are not interchangeable. They are both necessary and must be offered to patients in the right order. It’s all in the timing. We’re already seeing patients being offered a booster instead of a third dose. This means that they may be missed off the list of people eligible for a booster further down the line – which is absolutely crucial to maintaining their protection against COVID-19.
“The onus will then be on patients to advocate for themselves, explain that they were given a booster instead of a third dose and to ultimately try to convince their GPs that they are entitled to receive a much-needed booster.”