With the Coronavirus vaccine roll-out now progressing across the UK, you may have questions about it in relation to your aplastic anaemia.

As always, you should contact your own medical team for advice about your own medical situation and circumstances, as they will be ready and expecting your questions. 

Here are some of the more general questions that we have received from members of our community.

Is the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine a live vaccine?

In simple terms - no. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine does not contain a live virus. It is manufactured using an adenovirus - basically, a cold virus which is found in chimpanzees, however, the virus has been modified so that it cannot replicate inside the body, and thus cannot make you ill. All of the vaccines which have been approved for use in the UK have been deemed safe to use for people who have weakened immune systems or are immunocompromised.

Which vaccine should I have - Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca or Moderna?

All of the vaccines approved for use in the UK have been deemed as safe to use for people who have weakened immune systems, including conditions such as aplastic anaemia. While no people with aplastic anaemia were included in the trials of these vaccines, all of these vaccines are 'inactivated', and do not contain a live form of the virus, and should be safe to use. Studies of the population as a whole are ongoing as to which vaccines are the most effective, and as such, there is no preference over which vaccine you should receive.

We recommend that you discuss this further with your medical team, particularly if you have any allergies to the ingredients contained in the vaccines.

Will I need to continue shielding after I have been vaccinated?

At present, the Government advice states that you should continue to shield, even after receiving both doses of the vaccine. While the vaccine roll-out is underway, it is still not fully known how effective the vaccine will be at slowing or preventing the spread of the disease. As such, you should continue to shield and take precautions to keep yourself safe until more information is available.

You can find more information about this question on the gov.uk website by clicking here

How effective will the vaccine be for people with aplastic anaemia?

Currently, limited data exists to show how effective the vaccine will be for people with weakened immune systems. As people with aplastic anaemia often have weakened immune systems, or receive immunosuppressant treatments such as ATG or Ciclosporin, this could result in a vaccine providing more limited protection than in an otherwise healthy individual. It is believed, however, that the vaccine will provide some protection, which will be of benefit.

Do you have a question that isn't answered here?

Feel free to get in touch with Sam, our Community Outreach and Patient Advocacy Lead, who will be happy to help.

You can get in touch by emailing us at [email protected], or by calling our helpline on 0300 102 3202.