Global coalition calls for people with CF to be prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccine

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Forming The Global Registry Harmonization Group, experts including those from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust have written in the Journal of Cystic Fibrosis about how people with cystic fibrosis (CF) need vaccine distribution strategies that work, are aggressive, and follow the science.

With coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations rolling out across the globe, international health leaders and experts are raising concerns about the variation in vaccine prioritisation of people with CF around the world.

The UK has rolled out the vaccine to the clinically extremely vulnerable and their carers at speed, specifically including those with cystic fibrosis. People with CF in the UK had to isolate themselves to stay safe as COVID-19 swept across the world, and were included in the fourth tier to receive the vaccine. However, the same rapid vaccination programme is not happening in all countries and scientists are now urging world leaders to rethink their approach to vaccination.

The Group has also written to say people with CF need vaccine distribution strategies that are aggressive, predictable and follow the science and medicine. These strategies must be clearly communicated around the world so that people with CF know how, when and where they can receive vaccinations.

Disparities in the availability of vaccinations for people with CF mean the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, other organisations and the CF community must continue to advocate for this group to get prioritisation.

There have been over 2,500 cases of COVID-19 in people with CF around the world. Evidence, published by the Group, suggests that there is a higher risk of severe infection for people who have had a transplant, or have advanced lung disease before infection than others with cystic fibrosis.

Vaccines offer these clinically extremely vulnerable people – who already have had to make huge sacrifices – hope and a chance to return to normality. Vaccination may be a way out of this pandemic, and people with CF must not be left behind.

Stay up to date with these issues on our COVID-19 hub.

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