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Evidence from studies undertaken by Friends, Family and Travellers showed that for Gypsy and Traveller communities, access, rather than vaccine refusal, is the most significant barrier to vaccine uptake. But everyone should have fair access to a COVID-19 vaccine.

Josie Garrett, Health Policy Officer at Friends, Families and Travellers said:

"We know that people from Gypsy and Traveller communities may face barriers to accessing the vaccine, and that there simple, practical steps that services can take to ensure that their vaccination efforts are inclusive. This series of resources offers advice and guidance for both patients and professionals to support access to vaccination for all Gypsies and Travellers."

You can also watch a video here.

 

The COVID-19 vaccination is given in 2 doses, up to 12 weeks apart. If you are travelling, services may need to offer additional support to ensure that you can access both doses of the vaccine.

If you know, or think that you will not be in the same area for the second dose of the vaccine:

  • You can contact your local GP, or a local GP surgery and let them know. They can contact health services in a new area that you travel to, to arrange for you to have the 2nd dose.
  • OR, you can contact 119 and ask for advice around the best way to access the 2nd dose of the vaccine.

If you are travelling and have access to a mobile phone or device, you may want to download the NHS Digital App so that you have access to a summary of your health records, and have information on hand on the type of vaccination dose you had and where this was delivered.

If you want to stay in the same area until you have the 2nd dose of the vaccine, and you are living roadside on an unauthorised encampment -

  • Ask your GP or the health professional giving you the vaccine to write you a letter asking for you to be able to stay in the area.
  • If have concerns or experience any problems with this, please contact our helpline on 01273 234 777.

If you want to stay in the same area until you have the 2nd dose of the vaccine, and you are a Liveaboard Boater subject to Continuous Cruising rules -

  • Ask your GP or the health professional giving you the vaccine to write you a letter asking for you to be able to stay in the area.
  • You can contact your local Boat Licence Support Officer or Waterways Organisation and ask them to suspend continuous cruising rules during this period.
  • If you are concerned or experience any problems with this, please contact our helpline on 01273 234 777.

It may be helpful for a GP or healthcare professional to provide a letter to the relevant authority to support Negotiated Stopping or a pause on Continuous Cruising rules. To support this, we have drafted a brief template letter that GP’s and healthcare professionals can use.

If you have any difficulty accessing the second dose of the vaccine whilst travelling please contact the FFT helpline on 01273 234 777.

You do not need to be registered with a GP or to have an NHS number to get the vaccine. You should never be denied the vaccine on this basis.

If you are eligible, you should be able to access the vaccine by booking online or by calling 119. If you are not registered with a GP and have any difficulty accessing the vaccine, you can contact our helpline on 01273 234 777.

If you want to register with a GP, you should never be refused registration as a result of no ID or no fixed address. Between now and May 31st 2021, we have a special helpline open to help Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people get registered or update their contact details at a GP.

Whether you’re having trouble getting registered, getting an appointment or updating your contact details, we’re here to help. Find out more here.