The JCVI is the joint commitee for vaccine and immunization who advice on vaccination policy and have done what I have called cowboy/cowgirl science and over-ruled the drug labels. Their advice is vaccinate at 12 week intervals when the green book says 3-4 weeks for immunosuppressed people. For the Astrazeneca vaccine there is data but for the pfizer jab there was no data past 6 weeks from the trials and 3 weeks was the planned and requested interval.
It seems the publishing media is out the window so not sure where the details are arriving from as the BBC seems to be the publication vechicle (However, the problem is there are so many pre-print sites these days), but the London group set themselves up as a vaccination centre to get their own “prick and data collect” science service, that has shown us what we already know, in that people with blood cancers will not make a very good antibody response and this applied to vaccines.
From the larger studies (2 papers with between n=10-20 so not large) in MS the seroconversion rate after B cell depleteters notably ocrelizumab and rituximab the seroconversion rate has been 15-20%, but with the previos of there is not enough information of timing of infection to blood test. It is about 3 months, which is enough time for antibody response and loss of it with time in some people. In people not on disease modifying drugs it was about 68% Zabalza et al COVID–19 in multiple sclerosis patients: susceptibility, severity risk factors and serological response. Eur J Neurol. 2020 Dec 19. doi: 10.1111/ene.14690.
However to the data from the “prick and collect” study
The researchers tested volunteers for antibodies and T-cells in their blood, which signals that the immune system can protect against illness from the virus in the future.
Three weeks after one Pfizer dose, an antibody response was found in:
- 39% of people with solid cancers
- 13% of people with blood cancer (This is more relevant to MS)
- 97% of people with no cancer
Following a second dose three weeks after the first, which some cancer patients received, there was a sharp rise in their antibody response against the coronavirus, to 95%.
But among those who had to wait longer for their second dose, there was no real improvement in protection.
Five weeks after the first dose, an antibody response was detected in:
- 43% of people with solid cancers
- 8% of people with blood cancer
- 100% of people with no cancer
After the green book changed in version 6. BartsHealth overruled the JCVI (Government) to aim to provide vaccines at 3-4 week intervals for people on immunosuppressives and we have not had a policy change for 4 weeks which is amazing as this was changing every few days.
However, this is all about antibodies and we need to know about the T cells and goes back to previous stories in blood cancers, if you have no T and B cells there is a fatality risk, but as long as you have a CD8 response in blood cancer and in the blood cancers treated with anti-CD20 there was not a fatality risk. There was no mention of T cells in the Beeb Journal