The government’s vaccine committee has revised its recommendations to include unpaid carers in the Covid-19 vaccine priority list, ranked as priority group 6 – ‘all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.’ This includes those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main Carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the Carer falls ill.
It is currently unclear when unpaid carers will be offered the vaccine but we will cascade this information to Carers as soon as more information becomes available. This leaflet explains who the priority groups are and how people are being prioritised for vaccination.
Simon Fenton, CEO of Forward Carers said, “We have always advocated that Carers should notify their GP that they are in a caring role. This ensures that Carers receive their free flu jab, benefit from arranging ‘double appointments’ and access NHS services such as continence services and patient transport to hospital appointments. It also ensures that the GP has the complete facts about their patient, as the challenges of being a Carer can impact a person’s physical and mental health.
Given that Carers are included on the priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine, we are advising that if you are the main Carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk without your help, to notify your GP so you can be added to the practice’s carer register.”
Carers UK has produced a briefing add link and explores their recommendations for deployment of the vaccine to unpaid carers in more detail.
Remember as a Carer you are entitled to a free flu jab. The current recommendation is that there should be a gap of at least seven days in between the vaccines according to the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation).
Further information about the vaccine is available on the NHS website or on the Birmingham and Solihull’s Clinical Commissioning website. If you would like to find out more about what happens once you have the vaccine, please read this leaflet.
For further support around your caring responsibilities call the Birmingham Carers Hub on 0333 006 9711 (low call rate).