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The Elusive Third Primary Vaccine - not the Booster

(204 Posts)
FannyCornforth Fri 05-Nov-21 10:05:52

I know that there is a thread already about the Booster; but I felt that another thread devoted to the ever elusive third primary vaccine may be helpful.

The third primary dose is apparently valuable for those who are severely immune suppressed.

It is in addition to the booster.

My main question is - has anyone actually had it?

I’ve spoken to a variety of HCPs recently, and none of them have even heard of it sad

Thank you ?

LesLee7 Mon 08-Nov-21 17:33:30

I got my booster over a week ago at my GP's. Had Pfizer as first 2 Astra Zenenca but they are not saying AZ no good think they felt a different sort would boost immunity. My friend same surgery had 3 pfizers. I've not got any underlying issues - at the moment - I rang to make a doctors appointment and she said by the way have you had your booster , said no had NHS letter and was going to ring 119 to book and she we have some spaces tomorrow, so went. I ended up having mine (as well as flu jab) before my 92 year old Auntie which is wrong (although she is in a different town and County)

Barmeyoldbat Mon 08-Nov-21 18:32:17

Yes I had it, about 6 weeks ago, I didn’t even have to wait until the 6 months from last one. It was a Pfizer and I will receive a booster, the same, in about 6 months. I didn’t even know I was immune suppressed but it seems because I have been on steroids for many years and also some other medication I am taking. It gives me a week immune system. The reason for the delay is because Dr’s were told by letter about the need for a 3rd jab and to start giving them. A week later they received another letter saying they were rolling out boosters and to start giving them to those who were vulnerable , hence a mix up. As explained to me by my Dr when I met him in Waitrose.

Katek Mon 08-Nov-21 19:32:43

I spoke to a staff member about this when I was having my booster vaccine. She said they have very little info other than the booster/3rd primary are the same dosage but the third primary should be given 8 weeks after the second. All seems a bit of a confused picture

Marydoll Mon 08-Nov-21 20:17:03

The main points about the Third Primary for the immunocompromised, which I picked up from a ZOe webinar, I took part in are:

•It should be given eight weeks after the second primary.

•If the first two were AZ, the third Primary should be either Pfizer or Moderna, because in some instances the AZ has only been 40% effective for those who are severely immunosuppressed.

•A booster should be administered six months after the third primary.

Obviously this is a very simplifed version, as individual cases will vary. .

What is scandalous is that so many of us have had great difficulty obtaining a third primary dose and that many of those, who are not immunocompromised, are receiving boosters before the ECV.

What is even more worrying is that some medical staff are unaware of the requirement for a different vaccine, if the first two primary doses were AZ.

However, I have nothing but praise for the staff in our local hub. I accompanied my husband for his vaccinations and when I explained that I was severely immunocompromised on a number of counts and had my second vaccination six months and two weeks ago, but no-one could help me, they pulled out all the stops and offered me it there and then.

The AZ was offered and I had to explain why that wasn't suitable, so I was given the Pfizer instead.
Being pretty savvy and having done a lot of research, meant I got there in the end.

What about the patients who either didn't even know they had a weakened immune system or those who knew nothing about a third primary dose, followed by a booster?
What hope do they have? I am so angry about this on behalf of myself and vulnerable, who have wasted an inordinate time, trying to speak to someone, who actually understands. I was fobbed off on a number of occasions by staff who hadn't a clue and who told me there was no such thing as a third primary, followed by a booster.

Iam64 Mon 08-Nov-21 20:47:00

FannyCornforth, thanks for starting this thread. Marydoll, thanks for your post at 20.17 today 8 November.
I’ve been reading the thread over a couple of days. I’d not heard of the 3rd job - different than the booster till reading this thread. Then on Saturday 5 November, I had a copy of the letter my rhuematology dept sent to me GP.
It states I meet the criteria for sever immunosuppressiin. I should have a 3rd dose as part of primary vaccine course. It should be offered at least 8 weeks after the 2nd dose to ensure optimal interaction. If the patient has already had a booster, that should be considered the 3rd primary dose and call the patient for a booster in 6 months.
I had my booster, now known as my 3rd primary dose 6 months after my 2nd dose.

It’s chaos isn’t it. Thank goodness for the knowledgable people posting here.

Olive please take your conspiracy theories away

Kamiso Mon 08-Nov-21 22:25:29

We booked ours today on the NHS website. Quite straightforward. Best to have your NHS number ready though you can book without it. The list of centres seemed to be surgeries and pharmacies mainly though not ours.

Marydoll Mon 08-Nov-21 23:01:28

Thank you Iam, glad you to managed to get sorted and you found the thread helpful. I hope you are keeping well.

There is still so much confusion on this thread, which is detracting from its main purpose, which is to discuss the lack of knowledge about the Third Primary vaccine and the difficulty in being able to book one. This thread is not about booking boosters

If anyone has managed to book a Third Primary Vaccine, as opposed to a booster online, please let us know. It would be really helpful to those who are still struggling.

Tonight I have drafted an email to my local MSP, detailing my concerns. I am like a dog with a bone about this.
If it is not addressed now, I suspect that in six months time, when we are due to have a booster, we will find ourselves in the same boat.

Saetana Mon 08-Nov-21 23:03:55

The name "primary booster" is causing confusion - those who are immunosuppressed plus the highest risk groups (over 50s, ECV and frontline health workers) are entitled to a third booster jab. The "primary" bit is completely irrelevant. As I understand it, only Pfizer is being offered for those entitled to a third dose of a covid vaccine, possibly Moderna as well but we don't have so many of those. My husband has his third jab booked for tomorrow (ECV and had his second jab in early May) and it will be Pfizer where he had AZ for his first two (like myself). I'm frankly indecisive whether or not to bother - I have some ethical issues with us dishing out third vaccines to what is likely to become all adults when there are frontline healthcare workers in some countries who have not even had one jab yet! I am not ECV and no serious health issues.

FarNorth Mon 08-Nov-21 23:20:47

Saetana how would it help those in other countries, for people in the UK to refuse jabs.

As Marydoll says, Third Primary Vaccine is a completely separate thing from a Booster dose.

Marydoll Mon 08-Nov-21 23:24:01

I agree, the terminology is what is causing confusion. That however, is not the main issue. The main issue is lack of information for the immunocompromisecd and their inability to actually obtain an appointment.

I haven't read or heard it called a Primary booster, however that doesn't mean it hasn't been called that.
In anything I've read or heard in webinars, it has been referred to as Third Primary vaccine followed by a booster, six months later. That means those who are immunocompromised, will eventually have four doses.
I know a few people, who are ECV, but not immunocompromised. They have not been offered three vaccinations, plus a booster in six months time.

Its up to each individual, what they choose to do. I personally, will take whatever I am offered, because the odds are stacked against me. I will certainly die if I contract Covid. That message was given to me by my consultant, a week before lockdown.
I hadn't realised how vulnerable I was.

FarNorth Mon 08-Nov-21 23:29:34

It's disgraceful that medical staff have been given so little information, or confusing information.

Marydoll Mon 08-Nov-21 23:29:45

Thanks Far North.

Saetana, if you read the whole thread, it might help you to see the difference between a third booster and a third primary vaccine, plus a booster.

Saetana Tue 09-Nov-21 00:39:13

Its really not different - immunosupressed people are getting a third dose of Pfizer, exactly the same as my extremely clinical vulnerable husband is (no immune issues). He will also get another booster after six months. What on earth is a so-called "Primary Booster" when its at home? Its a third vaccine - Pfizer - and is exactly the same as a Booster! More confusion from the useless NHS!

Missedout Tue 09-Nov-21 00:42:45

I think it may be useful to remind some posters that immunosuppressed/immunocompromised means patients' ability to make antibodies to infections is severely impaired. After two Covid vaccinations followed by two separate, independent antibody tests, I still had no antibodies. My ability to fight Covid was non-existent. However, there is some evidence that some of us (immunocompromised) may produce antibodies after a 3rd (Primary) dose of vaccine. Who knows, I may even have a few now. I will take another antibody test when 3-4 weeks have elapsed.

Like Marydoll, Covid is likely to be lethal to me. It must be comforting to those who feel that Covid is not a real threat to them and to be able to be lukewarm about having a booster, to be confident they will survive Covid.

I don't particularly wish to die yet but nor do I want to go on living like a recluse so I will take whatever current medicine has to offer. Like others on here, I have had weeks of stress trying to get my 3rd primary dose. I have come up against indifference, ignorance, incompetence and callousness as well as compassion and, finally, efficiency.

I imagine I will have trouble getting my booster in 6 months too!

Marydoll Tue 09-Nov-21 01:19:28

Saetana, how fortunate that you and your husband have no immune issues. Count your blessings.

You appear to have absolutely no conception, nor understanding of the implications of being severely immunocompromised and living with that for the rest of your life.

Recently, I took part in Zoe webinar , about Covid and the immunosuppressed. It literally put the fear of death into me, when I discovered that after two vaccinations, I probably had little protection.

Perhaps I am misjudging you and like myself, Missedout and others on this thread, you have done your research and read as much as you can about it.
If so would you like to share what you have learned, it may help to reassure us and change our perception?

Missedout, thank you for your usual, sensible input.

FannyCornforth Tue 09-Nov-21 01:52:30

Oh dear. Saetana, have you read the thread?
You might find out what ‘this so-called primary booster (sic) is when it’s at home’ if you do so

Mary I hope that your bp is okay! thanksbrew

FannyCornforth Tue 09-Nov-21 01:55:48

Thank you Missedout
I think (and hope) that the next vaccinations may run more smoothly if people, the professionals and punters alike, are getting more clued up

FarNorth Tue 09-Nov-21 02:56:29

I confess to not having read the whole thread but your explanation Marydoll has made clear the difference.

Here is a link for Saetana and anyone else who is confused.

Barmeyoldbat Tue 09-Nov-21 03:38:43

That’s interesting Marydoll about receiving my booster for my third vaccination after w months. I was told afterwards I would receive the booster in W months but others who have had the same, but at a different surgery were told 5 months and convinced me I had got it wrong. But as my surgery is on the ball and do them straight away with no fuss or bother, then I shall wait another couple of weeks which will bring me to the 2 month mark, and see what happens. Hope this all makes sleep.

Barmeyoldbat Tue 09-Nov-21 03:39:21

Should be 6 months not 5

Marydoll Tue 09-Nov-21 08:12:36

Barmeyoldbat, thank goodness your surgery is on the ball! I may move there. ?
The practice manager in my surgery, when I asked for help, told me that she didn't know what I was talking about and couldn't help me. I got the same brush off from the vaccination helpline.

The recommendation that the third Primary Vaccination should be given eight weeks after the second, doesn't seems to have filtered through to those, who should be in the know. Mine was only five months and two weeks late!
So Saetana, they may be the same vaccine, but they are used in a totally different way.

Fanny, surprisingly, my BP is lower than it has been in years, despite the inaccuracies, being posted on this thread, the conspiracy theories and the lack of compassion from some posters! ?
I certainly do not claim to be an expert, but I have tried to the best of my ability to be accurate. If this thread helps only one person, it will be worth it.
However, that's Gransnet for you. Everyone is allowed to post their opinion, that's the way it should be.

PS. Saetana, you say your husband is ECV, surely you want to keep yourself safe, for his sake?
My DH and children are all double vaccinated and my daughter and SIL, who are my main carers, will be eligible for a booster, because of me and will accept the invitation.
We are all testingand reporting twice a week, as well.
We have got this far, the last thing they want is to bring infection into the house.

Like Missedout, I too want my life back. I am becoming a recluse and miss my friends, but I cannot take that risk. What is even more painful, a couple think I am making a fuss about nothing, they just don't get it!

My health has deteriorated, due to cancelled hospital appointments, delayed treatment and lack of monitoring my conditions. I had a second heart attack in January, because no-one was monitoring me. HDU, in the middle of a pandemic, that was scary!

Half the people who have come on this thread, haven't read it properly. That's what happens when a thread becomes long. It's understandable, but does muddy the waters a bit.

Please read the whole thread, especially the title.

Barmeyoldbat Tue 09-Nov-21 09:34:59

Reading all these threads I am extremely grateful that I have such an excellent surgery despite me having a moan about them when I couldn’t get pain relief, that’s what happens when you are in pain!!

Marydoll Wed 10-Nov-21 11:04:04

Today I had to contact the NHS Vaccine helpline, as I was unable to access the site.

There was a recorded message, advising callers that there is a difference between a third primary and a booster.
That was not there when I phoned a few weeks ago.
I spoke to a very helpful agent, who advised me that my record was now set up to invite me for a booster in 24 weeks time.
I explained the difficulties I had been having and he assured me that agents were now aware of the difference.

Thank goodness for that!!! Do you think they have been reading this thread? wink

FannyCornforth Wed 10-Nov-21 13:21:38

Excellent news Mary!
Which number was it that you rang?
(I’ve got a horrible feeling that it’s going to be a dedicated Scottish one…)

Marydoll Wed 10-Nov-21 13:40:22

It is a dedicated Scottish one. There is even an option if you are phoning about a third primary, as a opposed to a booster! Sorry, Fanny!!

Pity that option was not available last week!