3rd Primary dose vs Booster: My GP practice, who... - CLL Support

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3rd Primary dose vs Booster

JIDD profile image

My GP practice, who I usually trust, is Islington Central. However when my nurse specialist at McMillan Cancer, UCLH, asked them to organise a third primary dose, they adopted a "computer says no" position and later sent me a GPSurgery text message offering a booster as if they had never seen the JCVI recommendation of a third primary dose. As a result of this, and similar blinkered reactions from other GP surgeries, McMillan Cancer, UCLH, have been forced to set up a vaccine centre in a UCL building where I got my third primary dose. My GP surgery could easily have read the JCVI recommendation and apologised that the NHS hierarchy was preventing them from organising third primary doses - and push back against the pen pushers but they persisted in following the bureacratic "party line". I'm hoping they develop enough self confidence to push back soon but until then I'll be relying on McMillan Cancer, UCLH.

21 Replies

This has caused so much confusion. Initially my gp reception staff kept saying the jabs were the same. They seem to have got the message now and texted me with an appointment for the 3rd primary dose tomorrow.My consultant spoke to me on 5th October and he intended to point out the recommendations and instruct them to give me the jab. He also said it had to be the full dose. This affects the moderna vaccine which is given as half a dose if as a booster.

We should have pneumonia boosters every 5 years and my gps didnt know that.

My gp has only just got the vaccine.

I dont think it has got through that immunocompromised people dont have to wait 6 months.

Some on this site say that the computer cant separate boosters and 3rd vaccine, which explains why your surgery were having a problem. The main thing is that your records are correct and you get a booster in 6 months, Anne uk

casanova profile image
casanova in reply to AnneHill

So frustrating. I received a text from my Haematology team to say i was eligible for a third primary dose and to arrange via my GP. However, I got ^we gave nothing to do with COVID vaccines, ring 119" from my GP and of course 119's computer said NO, not eligible for booster as it wasn't yet six months since my last vaccine. Trying to explain third primary dose not booster was impossible, the system could not adapt.

Maureen (UK)

Mtk1 profile image
Mtk1 in reply to casanova

I can’t believe that GPS and surgeries have still not got the message, everyone with a compromised immune system should have been contacted by now to receive their 3rd primary dose.It’s so frustrating to constantly see these posts on this site.

fuming 😤

mbear profile image
mbear in reply to Mtk1

Lots of GP's not performing as they should. Before the pandemic had to go chasing pneumonia vac and since realised I should have been given Previnar then 2mths later pneumovax. Just been given the 1 so don't know which I had and had to instigate this myself. Last year was given wrong flu jab....unbelievable, Believe Shingrix is being offered from early September I'm sure I will have to pursue this with them. Lots of confusion re 3rd and booster vacc. Are you saying the booster is only half the dose not the full dose? Mine was classed as booster, centre that was doing it didn'the know what I was talking about. However on a positive have taken part in NHS study re antibodies, and just found out I have some. I know this isn'the the whole picture but I'll take that. We shouldn't have to be managing our condition in this way. I think of my practises other patients with CLL who maybe are unaware or unable to access such information. Very disillusioned.

wmay13241 profile image
wmay13241 in reply to mbear

For immunocompromised people who received PPV23 BEFORE age 65, CDC recommends another PPV23 shot. cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/pneumo...

I have now had three pneumonia shots including two boosters at four years after the first! The two last year were Prevenar13 and Pneumovax23 - I am early stage CLL aged 58 so a good time to get vaccinated as I should still mount an effective immune response. I am also pleased I have just booked my Shringrix vaccination. All at my local GP surgery when the consultant told them to do it. I am told I should have a Pneumovax booster in 2025!

Mtk1 profile image
Mtk1 in reply to EmilyLondon

I haven’t had any pneumonia vaccines since 2007, never been mentioned, had cll since 2016, now on treatment.

EmilyLondon profile image
EmilyLondon in reply to Mtk1

When I asked on behalf of my mother in her 80s they said there was no point giving a pneumonia because at her age she was not likely to respond.

Annie1920 profile image
Annie1920 in reply to Mtk1

I had one pneumonia jab when I hit 65 and was told that was for life.. That was in 2014 so I will chance that up when I've 12 months space after obutuzumab

mbear profile image
mbear in reply to EmilyLondon

Sound like you've got a GP who's keeping his eye on the ball!!! Good to hear there are GP's doing their job.

EmilyLondon profile image
EmilyLondon in reply to mbear

I am confused as well now. I booked my recent third Covid vaccination through the link sent on the text message telling me I was extremely vulnerable and should get another jab - so thought they would have given me the right one! But the card says Pfizer booster on it. Is the Pfizer booster a different level of dose from the third jab? I think the nurse might have said it was a half dose.

Mtk1 profile image
Mtk1 in reply to EmilyLondon

The Pfizer is a full dose.

AnneHill profile image
AnneHill in reply to casanova

My husband will be due for a booster after tomorrow. He hasnt been contacted. The government are encouraging people to have boosters and the doctors arent doing them.I am having mine this morning and I think the fact the consultant wrote made more difference than I initially thought. Anne uk

Glad you and your husband are getting the vaccine and it was good to note your GP understood 3rd Primary dose.Maureen

A March 2016 CAR-T treatment permanently damaged my wife's bone marrow such that she does not produce immunoglobulins. She gets an IVIG infusion every 2 months. She has had 3 Moderna shots so far, the latest being in August 2021. My question is what is the guidance for a 4th Moderna shot for immunocompromised people?

My booster jab was delayed by 24 hours because the computer wouldn't allow my surgery to book the appointment. I have received the booster jab now and as usual I was out of sorts for 24 hours, but that is better than being in an ICU bed.

Nuffin like a bit of confusion!

So, the only difference between booster and 3rd jab, is the booster is half the dose?

And if I went for my 3rd jab and was given a booster by mistake, that could easily be remedied by having another booster?


Only half dose for Moderna not for Pfizer which is full dose

Thanks Annie, that adds to the confusion! 🤔

sorry ..I have had what has been logged as a booster because uk data base only offers that facility its down to your gp or hematology team to note that you are eligible for a later booster, after another 6 months ..My gp has written to me to confirm this as Iwas disquieted by the confusion and there is a note on my records

McMillan UCLH advise different vaccine for 3rd primary. Had AZ for #1&2. Pfizer for #2.

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