News An update on our research into the Covid-19 vaccine The Aplastic Anaemia Trust are very proud to be funding research into the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines for people with aplastic anaemia. We hope that this research will enable us to provide people with aplastic anaemia with the same amount of information as people with more common blood conditions, helping them to make informed decisions about how to best protect themselves from Covid-19. Delays to our first results Many of our community will know that we were hoping to share initial results from the study with you around now. Frustratingly, the next stage of the study has been slightly delayed due to a consumables shortage. The supply of some specific micro-plates, which the team need to analyse the post-second vaccine samples, have been repeatedly delayed. The team at Leeds have been assured by their supplier that these will arrive today, so we will be hopefully able to process these samples and get back on track and start testing these samples tomorrow. Will participants in the study be able to access their own individual results? We have been asked to advise people that this won’t be possible for participants in this study. This is because the data the team are using has been anonymised. What do we know so far We don’t know enough from our own research yet to be able to draw conclusions about the vaccine’s efficacy for people with aplastic anaemia. Research from other studies is starting to emerge, and members of our community might have seen updates about other studies which can provide interesting reading. Our friends at Blood Cancer UK have reported some findings from a recent study into the vaccine for blood cancer patients and people who have had a stem cell transplant. They are not drawing concrete conclusions from these results yet, as the sample size is still small, but you can read about the results here. Our up to date page with detailed advice about the vaccine is here. What should people with aplastic anaemia do? Our advice is that people with aplastic anaemia should consult with their clinician about their individual case, to help them make decisions about what is safe for them. In general, it is sensible for people with aplastic anaemia to set reasonable boundaries around socialising, and avoid situations where there is a high risk of contracting Covid-19, even if you have had the Covid-19 vaccine. We have published some advice and tools to support you with this here. We advise patients to have the vaccine if they are advised to by their clinician. Some clinicians may advise you to request a particular vaccine and it is worth speaking to them about this too. The JCVI is also recommending that young people who are clinically vulnerable should receive the vaccine. Healthy people who are in close contact with someone with aplastic anaemia should also be vaccinated. Is an end in sight? With ongoing uncertainty around the vaccine efficacy, we know many people feel like they'll be stuck with more restrictions or face greater risks forever. We do not believe this will be the case. People with aplastic anaemia may need to take additional precautions now, while Covid-19 infections are high in the general population. But they won’t be high forever, and encouraging developments with booster jabs and new antibody treatments indicate that ongoing research can find ways to make everyone safer to get back to the things we love. It may just take a little longer. In the meantime, we are here for you. The Aplastic Anaemia Trust will be launching new wellbeing support as we head into winter, to support people through what is often the toughest time of year. If you need to vent some frustrations, or just have a chat to someone who understands, we strongly recommend attending our supportive (online) Wellbeing Wednesdays group, posting in our Facebook community, or contacting our support line.