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NHS survey for people with cancer, looking at how well the COVID-19 vaccines work

PCUK Ellie

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The COVID Cancer Antibody Survey has been launched in England. It will look at antibody responses to the COVID-19 vaccines among cancer patients. The NHS is calling on cancer patients to sign up now. You can sign up at: covidcancersurvey.uk.


What are antibodies?

Your body makes antibodies when you get an infection. This is an antibody response. Antibodies help the body fight the infection.


If you have COVID-19 antibodies in your blood, it’s likely you have had the virus before or have had the vaccine. It’s not known if having antibodies stops you getting the virus again.


What does this survey aim to find out?

Vaccination is an important way to protect people from COVID-19, but there is some evidence that a small number of cancer patients may have lower levels of antibody response than the general population. We don’t yet fully understand what lower levels of antibodies mean in terms of outcomes. It may mean some people with cancer are not as protected from COVID-19.


By signing up for this survey, you can help develop our understanding of what antibody levels mean for people with cancer. This will help us provide the best treatment, care and support for patients. You will also find out about your own antibody levels.


The survey is open to people aged 18 or over living in England who have either been diagnosed with cancer in the last year or are currently having cancer treatment. People taking part will be sent a finger-prick blood test that looks for antibodies against COVID-19 in the blood. It will be sent in the post and comes with everything needed to complete and return the test.


You need to visit covidcancersurvey.uk to sign up to the survey before ordering your antibody test.


You will fill in a short online form with your details before being automatically directed to the NHS Test & Trace antibody test booking webpage, where you will be able to book your free test.


The NHS are aware that, once you have completed registration on covidcancersurvey.uk and have been directed onto the gov.uk antibody test booking service, one of the questions that website asks you is to confirm your employment status. Please ignore the text underneath this question, which asks you not to continue if you are not working – you do qualify for an antibody test, regardless of your employment status. Simply answer this question and click ‘continue’ – you will still be able to book your test. The website is being updated, and this message will be removed.


There are 10,000 places on this survey and the NHS expects to be recruiting people for the next two to three months.


For more information, use the ‘contact us’ section of the survey website: covidcancersurvey.uk/contact.

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