Are you an unpaid carer? Learn how you can get the COVID-19 vaccine

Read more for advice for unpaid carers regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lady recieving vaccine

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI): advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination 30 December 2020:

1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
3. all those 75 years of age and over
4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
5. all those 65 years of age and over
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 also 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.
7. all those 60 years of age and over
8. all those 55 years of age and over
9. all those 50 years of age and over

I provide unpaid care to a family member or friend what should I do?

If you have not already done so you should immediately let your GP surgery know you are a Carer and would like to be added to thier GP register. Unless you do that, your GP will not know you provide unpaid care, and you are likely to miss out on the chance of receiving the vaccine earlier. Durham County Carers Support have devised a simple form to make this a quick and easy thing to do. Carers do not need to be registered with Durham County Carers Support to be added to the GP Carers Register but by registering with Durham County Carers Support you will be offered a wealth of information, advice, and support. 

Please call 0300 005 1213 - email admin@dccarers.org or visit WWW.dccarers.org

What if I don’t get Carers Allowance?
It does not matter if you receive Carers Allowance or not. If you are providing unpaid care to a family member or friend, you are an unpaid carer.

If your GP practice says you are not eligible to move to Category 6 of the COVID-19 vaccine schedule you should point out firmly that;
1. You are, under UK law (The Care Act 2015), an unpaid carer.
2. In addition, Government guidance sets out clearly in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI): advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination that Category 6 of the vaccine schedule; 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.
3. Insist that you are legally eligible to be included in Category 6 of the priorities schedule for COVID-19 vaccination
What does the government mean when it says ‘disabled person’?

To simplify things, if you are providing unpaid care and support to someone who would struggle to manage their daily lives without your support because of their health and social care needs then that person has a ‘disability’ and you are an unpaid Carer. Disability includes almost every health condition including substance misuse, mental health and long standing illnesses, physical disability, learning disabilities, sight loss, dementia, cancer, Parkinson’s etc.

Can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the person I care for?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have stated in their guidance that there should be some flexibility in how the vaccine is distributed. This means, that whilst there is no definitive agreement that you can be vaccinated at the same time as the person you care for you should ask your GP if this is possible and you may get agreement to do this.

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