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Pseudomyxoma Survivor has received a number of inquiries as to whether people with a diagnosis of pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) or appendix cancer should have a COVID-19 vaccination. There is no evidence to support that people with rare diseases should avoid vaccination against COVID-19.

Many of our community have chronic and complex health needs that could potentially worsen as a result of developing COVID-19. For the most of our community, like so many others, the benefits of protection against coronavirus are likely to out-weigh any risks related to having the infection (including Long Covid) or getting side-effects of the vaccination. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) prioritises asplenic patients.

That said, an individual may have a history of severe reactions to injections such as the flu jab or pneumococcal vaccine, or they may have a history of anaphylaxis. In these situations, or if there are specific health concerns, individuals should discuss the risks of having the coronavirus vaccination with their GP or consultant.

We’ve also been asked about protein-based vaccines versus mRNA vaccines and we refer you to this summary on the CDC’s website, Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work, and to this summary of mRNA vaccines, Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines.

You may be interested in this document intended for healthcare staff involved in delivering the programme – COVID-19 vaccination: information for healthcare practitioners.

As with any community, a number of us have allergies and intolerances to medicines. The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had previous issued advise that any person with a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine, medicine or food should not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Following analysis of further data by the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), the advice from 11th January 2021 is that  anyone with a previous history of allergic reactions to the ingredients of the vaccine should not receive it, but those with any other allergies such as a food allergy can now have the vaccine. Read more in the Information for UK recipients which can be found here.

The currently available messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines are not live vaccines. The currently available vector vaccine contains a weakened version of a live virus—this is a different virus than the one that causes COVID-19. These vaccines cannot infect you with COVID19 disease. It is not anticipated that they pose a risk to patients with immunodeficiency conditions, or to those undergoing immunosuppressive treatment.

We always recommend that you discuss any concerns with your GP or your consultant.

Authored by A Brook, Trustee. Reviewed by Dr G Morgan MB ChB, Trustee. Posted 24th January 2021.