Unpaid carers who are not known to health and care services and therefore have not been called forward for the COVID-19 vaccine now have a route to check whether they are eligible and apply for a vaccination appointment.
Unpaid carers are currently being called forward for their first COVID-19 vaccinations as part of cohort six in the national vaccine roll-out.
Eligible carers for the vaccine include those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, are identified as a primary carer by their GP, or are receiving support following a Carer’s Assessment by their local council or from a local carer’s organisation.
These carers known to Government and health and care services are already being contacted about booking an appointment.
Now, a route for unpaid carers over the age of 18 who are not in contact with formal services has been set up for them to check whether they are eligible for an appointment and book a vaccination.
The national charity Carers UK is encouraging carers to check their eligibility and contact the National Booking Service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination, or by ringing 119, to complete a short application process to determine if they are eligible to book their vaccination appointment.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“Identifying unpaid carers in England so they can be prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccine has involved unprecedented collaboration between Government departments, local government and our health and care services, and many carers have already started to receive their first jabs.
“However, we know many carers who would be eligible are unknown to services. We are pleased that they now have the opportunity to come forward, check their eligibility and apply for the vaccine through the National Booking Service, and we encourage them to do so.
“After a year of caring round the clock at home and carefully managing the risk of infection, this route to the vaccine will provide much-needed relief for unpaid carers – meaning they can protect themselves and their loved ones at the earliest opportunity.”