Peter Mac joins medical societies, patient advocates, and representatives of the global clinical community in endorsing a new tool to aid immunocompromised or immunosuppressed blood cancer patients.
Designed for worldwide use, the International COVID-19 Blood Cancer Coalition (ICBCC)’s Patient Impact Statement seeks to raise awareness that blood cancer patients (both acute and chronic) are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
The full Patient Impact Statement can be downloaded here.
Professor John Seymour, Director of Clinical Haematology at Peter Mac and Royal Melbourne Hospital, explains why this is important, “This statement is profoundly important as a step towards achieving the much needed protection from CoVID for patients with blood cancers and others with similar immune compromise. While vaccination is able to provide substantial protection for most of us in the community, despite multiple vaccine doses and regardless of the specific formulation used, patients with blood cancer’s compromised immunity means they do not achieve adequate protection, and remain at high risk of a fatal outcome if they were to contract CoVID.”
“While many communities move toward normalisation of their activities protected by vaccination, patients with blood cancers are being left behind, and do not have the opportunity for safe resumption of their normal lives. A humane society must strive for equal protections for all members, and this collaborative statement calls for such equity.”
The statement’s recommendations include providing access to fast response COVID-19 testing, access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), additional booster doses of vaccines, and provision of psychological/psycho-oncological services.
It also calls for vaccines to be available globally, and for the involvement of medical institutions of low and middle income countries in clinical studies and trials of new anti-COVID-19 medications.
The ICBCC is a multi-stakeholder coalition of representatives that raises awareness of the impact of the pandemic on blood cancer patients, recommending solutions and actions to mitigate risk.
Peter Mac will continue support the ICBCC as it develops a global campaign with toolkit and materials to raise awareness of the blood cancer community’s needs around COVID-19.