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Campaign launches for ‘forgotten’ Covid families

Campaign launches for ‘forgotten’ Covid families

Newsbrands and agencies mSix&Partners and The&Partnership are supporting a campaign to raise awareness of half a million vulnerable people in the UK who must continue shielding from Covid-19 and can’t lead normal lives.

The #Forgotten500k campaign calls on the UK Government to immediately roll out antiviral drug Evusheld on the NHS, which would enable an estimated 500,000 at risk people to stop shielding in isolation.

The UK’s failure to approve and roll out the drug stands in contrast to 32 countries where it is readily available.

Several national newspapers have donated ad space to launch the campaign today, with ads created pro bono by indie ad agency The&Partnership and planned for free by sister agency mSix&Partners (a joint venture between The&Partnership and WPP’s GroupM).

Lesley-Ann Simons (pictured, main image), data team manager at Mediatel, told The Media Leader: “It’s been tough, mentally and physically, especially knowing that other countries have Evusheld. It does feel like we’ve been left behind to rot which has definitely had an effect on mental health.

“I’d like to personally thank The&Partnership and mSix&Partners for raising awareness for us, the forgotten 500k. I’m fortunate to be employed by a company, Mediatel, that has supported me shielding and working at home for the past two and a half years. Others have not been so lucky and are now facing a cost-of-living crisis with no way of supporting themselves.

“Evusheld is so important as it would give us the chance of some normality back and offer us the same protection afforded to the rest of the country, so that we get the chance to ‘live with Covid’ too.”

A series of events and activities will also take place this week, including a special podcast from former News of the World deputy editor Andy Coulson’s podcast Crisis What Crisis?, a silent vigil in Parliament Square and a Tortoise Media ‘Think In’.

Gemma Peters, CEO of Blood Cancer UK, said over one in 100 people with blood cancer have died of Covid and thousands more are suffering from a “mental health burden” of trying to avoid it.

She added: “There is good reason to believe Evusheld would give significant protection to our community, and so the Government’s refusal to make it available is missing the chance to do something that would both help keep them safe and get back to their normal lives. In doing this, the Government is insisting on a level of certainty for Evusheld that goes far beyond the level of certainty it needed before it bought the original vaccines in 2020, and is letting down immunocompromised people.”

Patient groups, charities and clinicians are urging Prime Minister Liz Truss and Health Secretary Thérèse Coffey to reverse a decision made under their predecessors to deny vulnerable patients access to Evusheld on the NHS.

Professor Martin Eve, a member of Evusheld for the UK, added: “The clinically vulnerable of the United Kingdom were promised protection. Instead, they have been abandoned and forgotten. While the rest of the world takes care of its immunocompromised using Evusheld, the UK delays without delivering.”

The Media Leader is part of Adwanted Group, the parent company for Mediatel.

Tessa, Graphic designer, Freelance, on 18 Oct 2022
“Thank you so much for all the help in supporting this campaign. I am one of the forgotten 500K and this sends out a powerful message. So grateful as it gives me a little bit of hope.”
Sue, Business Manager , Private Medical, on 18 Oct 2022
“Thank you very much for supporting our campaign. The very nature of our shielding status to keep safe means so many are unaware that 1/2 million people’s lives are still so restricted and fearful. The media are so vital to us to provide the exposure we need. So very grateful.”
J Smith, Retail , Boots plc, on 18 Oct 2022
“Thank you for highlighting this crucial issue. The government is seriously failing the immunocompromised by not delivering Evushield at the earliest opportunity. It actually is a life or death matter for those who have to risk their lives every time they leave their home or come into contact with someone who could be carrying Covid-19.”
Amanda, Designer, N/A, on 18 Oct 2022
“Thank you for raising awareness for those #ECV and #immunocompromised with little to no antibodies. We desperately need #Evusheld to bring hope to so many. At the very least, next time you go to a medical setting, wear a mask and keep your distance, you might just save a life. Thank you.”
Elisabeth Brown, Retired , Former NHS Sister, on 18 Oct 2022
“Thanks for doing the piece about Evusheld. We need all the support & exposure we can get to persuade the Government that they have made the wrong decision that flies in the face of world opinion.”
Nikola Brigden, Chartered Building Surveyor, Self, on 18 Oct 2022
“Thank you so much for covering this issue. As the wife of a blood cancer patient who has no protection from covid. We very rarely get to see our daughter who is away at University. I have a 76 year old mum, whom I have not hugged for years. To have a life changing diagnosis is hard enough, without having to fight for the chance to live your life to the full.”
Rose, Non practising lawyer, N/a, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you for highlighting this hugely important issue. The protection of the clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid is vital in order to allow us to move freely within society without the high risk of serious illness or death. Protecting the clinically extremely vulnerable also reduces their hospital admissions, reduces pressure on the NHS and reduces the likelihood of new variant strains. It saves the government money, helps to protect everyone and is ethically the right thing to do.”
Shannon, Managing Director , Be Leadership , on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you from one of the 500K— we are very grateful that you have covered this issue and are raising awareness of our need for Evusheld.”
Margaret Platt, Retired medical secretary, NHS, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thanks so much for highlighting this important issue. I had a renal transplant in 2017 and have been shielding since the covid pandemic began, as has my husband to keep me safe. On hearing of the media campaign today, I am in tears as it feels as if we are being noticed as a group and that someone is on our side. For myself, I have written to my MP three times regarding procurement of Evusheld, as have friends and family. We have also signed petitions. I have also taken part in the Melody Study to assess antibody levels. I have sent e-mails to charities highlighting how devastating covid has been for myself and my husband. We are hypervigilant and anxious constantly and this is taking a toll on our mental health. I am at a loss as to what more I can do to make goverment aware of how disgraceful this situation is. I worked for the NHS for twenty years and it should now be used to deploy Evusheld immediately to the forgotten 500,000. We live in hope, it's all we have.”
Helen, Retired Occupational Therapist, NHS , on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you for this. It’s totally shocking how this Evusheld drug combo was approved in March yet never purchased for use in the UK. I’m pretty certain by denying proven, effective prophylaxis treatment to this population of around 500,000, (plus their erstwhile contacts) the UK Government is surely infringing its own Equality Act? My daughter risks her life by trying to work (she’s a freelance musician and voiceover artist) to pay her taxes; but she is dependent on self-injecting immunoglobulins to try and stay safe. I fear for her, and all affected.”
Eileen Molloy, Retired, N/A, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you for your excellent cover of this. So appreciative as one of the 500k immunocompromised.”
Ann, N/A, N/A, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thanks for highlighting this issue. As someone with the blood cancer lymphoma, I make no antibodies to the vaccines and have no protection from Covid.”
Bernard Mathysse, Artist and retired IT Consultant , NA, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you for giving this very important campaign media attention . We all want to get back to 'normal ', but for no logical reason we are being denied the choice.”
Teresa Pennington, Medically retired, N/A, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you for covering this important issue. Whilst I’m fortunate in the fact I no longer have to go to a place of work or school unlike many others. I still feel I’m living a restrictive existence. I am still wearing a mask when I have to go indoors and avoid busy places/times. I haven’t been to a cinema, restaurant or concert in years and will basically have to hibernate again during the Winter months. This also applies to the rest of my household who do their best to protect me. We are all missing out whilst everyone else’s lives have practically returned to normal. All of which has a massive effect on our mental health. Why are the immunocompromised worth less than everyone else!! 32 other Countries giving Evusheld to their vulnerable can’t be wrong surely!”
Jill boys, I had to retire due to covid and being immune suppressed , Self employed , on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you so much for getting Evusheld in to the public domain, so many other countries using it why can’t we .”
Louise Bicknell, Retired, N/A, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you for covering this issue. It is so important and being brushed under the carpet by the DHSC. So many entire families have suffered as a consequence of their shortsighted approach to Prophlyaxis. The COVID 19 Inquiry will doubtless call this out, but people need this now to engage with society again. My husband is recovering from blood cancer treatment and as a consequence has no B cells to produce antibodies. I have to therefore shield as well. My parents in their 90s are therefore left with less support than they should as I cannot meet with them without segregating myself for a week at home after visiting. This is unacceptable and other families have it far worse than we do”
Jane Doel James, Retired, N/A, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you for your support. Shielding for more than two and a half years now.”
Tina Whiteside, Retired headteacher , St Mary's School Twickenham , on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you for this article. It's great work. I've posted you on Facebook.”
Elaine Moore, Retired company director, N/A, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you for supporting our cause. Shielding since February 2020 is becoming increasingly difficult and it looks like we're facing another winter without any help, despite Evusheld being an obvious solution. We are not looking for miracles, just common sense to prevail. I am an immunosuppressed renal transplant patient who is also 'lucky' enough to have MS and Diabetes. Thank you again.”
Sue, N/A, N/A, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you so much for your support. It means so much to those of us living with life- limiting disease which renders us immunocompromised. This drug could allow us the opportunity to do just a few of the things which the general population now take for granted "post-pandemic".”
Jane Roose, Painter, Cornwall Artist, on 17 Oct 2022
“Today Is 929 days locked down & shielding for me with no human contact apart from one ‘bubble’ friend. I collapsed when I heard of the Government’s refusal to procure Evusheld back in March, it felt like the end of the world for me, a blow to the stomach. I have S.L.E. Lupus, Rheumatoid A., Diabetes, Sjogren’s + 2 further AI diseases. My immune system doesn’t function, it turns on me and destroys the good stuff. I take chemo & biological drugs to suppress my haywire immune system. Catching a common cold will quickly turn into secondary infection & pneumonia. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the article and amazing support for the abandoned and forgotten 500,000”
Libby White, Seamstress, Self-employed, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you so much for your support of the #forgotten500k. I am immunosuppressed after a transplant, and I am perfectly healthy, except that I haven't made Covid antibodies from my vaccines. Because of this, I have had to give up the job I loved in Community Pharmacy. If I receive Evusheld antibody jab, I will be able to stop shielding, return to the workforce, earn, pay tax and spend.”
Clare Pollard, Unpaid carer , N/A, on 17 Oct 2022
“I'm a carer for my adult son who is an immunosuppressed renal transplant patient. I was his donor, he's 5 years post transplant. The impact on our mental health of shielding for the past 2.5 years has been profound. We want to spend time with our friends and family, some of whom have health issues themselves, so time is precious. My dream would be a family meal this Christmas. I used to cook for 8 every year, but for the past 2 years it's just been me and my son. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to the organisers of this campaign, who are working tirelessly to help CEV people get their lives back. Also thanks to the MPs who have been involved in pushing the conversation forward, and everyone who is campaigning, raising awareness, contacting their MPs, etc. Together we can do this 😊”
Dr J Goodwin, Lawyer , Own , on 17 Oct 2022
“Important article on an important and pressing issue . Excellent work .”
Mike Graham, Retired headteacher, Education Authorities , on 17 Oct 2022
“As one of the 500,000, with a daughter suffering from Lupus who is another one, I am SO grateful to the wonderful team of people working their socks off to get this government to change their minds over Evusheld. Lives are at stake, literally, and mental health issues are rife and getting worse all the time.”
Cooks Ferris, Retired Hobbit 🤷😂, ‘Shielding’ Bros/Sisters 😂😂, on 17 Oct 2022
“Thankyou you sooo much for your support of our situation. It means such a lot to the over half a million and more people who are immunocompromised of all age groups who have to continue to ‘shield’”
Margaret Miller, Retired , Ex Derbyshire education authority , on 17 Oct 2022
“I am one of those unable to live my life as I did before covid arrived. I have chronic lymphocytic leukaemia which is a cancer of the immune system so vaccines have little effect. After 6 vaccines I have minimal antibodies. I have an extremely limited social life, can go days without talking to anyone and life is pretty miserable.”
R Reeve, N/A, N/A, on 17 Oct 2022
“The government should fund Evusheld for immunocompromised as part of their Growth plan. 500,000 people shielding, most currently unable to work and unable to go out to theatre, cinema, restaurants etc etc would all be able to restart their lives if Evusheld were to be delivered, spending money to kickstart the economy! There would also be a saving to NHS, as these are the people who would likely take up an ICU bed and certainly need expensive treatments if they catch Covid with no protection.”
Catherine, Na, Na, on 17 Oct 2022
“Great article, more like this on Evusheld please!”
Rob Boxall, Unemployed , Universal credit/DWP, on 17 Oct 2022
“Brilliant article, many thanks for your support. I lost my job in June due to shielding for my wife who has blood cancer so it is great you are pointing the predicament we and others are in and for trying to get a reversal in their bad decision.”
Abbie, HR, ., on 17 Oct 2022
“Thank you for your support on such a vital matter for this group.”

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