By getting vaccinated, unpaid carers can help protect themselves from becoming seriously ill from Covid-19, so they can continue to be there for their family, friends, and the people they care for.

As an unpaid carer, there are certain criteria that you must meet to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.

The following should answer any queries that you have.

 

 

unpaidcarers

 

Unpaid carers who are eligible under JCVI priority group 6 are now being invited to receive their first COVID-19 vaccination. 

All eligible unpaid carers who are known to the health and social care system will be contacted by the NHS when it’s their turn to receive the vaccine, and will be given information about how they should access their vaccination either at their local GP surgery, pharmacy or at a large vaccination centre. These carers are being contacted in phases and you can find information on who can currently book the vaccine here. 
 
Unpaid carers over the age of 18 who are not already known to health and care services can 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. 
 
You must be over 18 to book using the national booking service and you will need to provide: 
 
• Your name and date of birth
• Your NHS number 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has identified unpaid carers within priority cohort 6. 

The JCVI definition is further clarified by the Public Health England Green Book on COVID-19 and the Standard Operating Procedure for Unpaid Carers to be those who: 
 
• Are eligible for a carer’s allowance 
• Are identified as a primary carer by their GP 
• Are receiving support following a carer’s assessment by their local council or from a local carer’s organisation 
• Are the sole or primary carer who provides close personal care or face to face support for an elderly or disabled person who is clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 * 
 
*Those clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 include: 
 
• Children over the age of 12 with severe neuro-disabilities who tend to get recurrent respiratory tract infections and who frequently spend time in specialised residential care settings for children with complex needs; 
• Those who are designated Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV); Page 4 of 9 
• Adults who have underlying health conditions (as defined in table 3 of the Green Book which includes adults over 16 on the GP Learning Disability Register); and those who need care because of advanced age (over 65) In some cases where caring responsibilities are shared, an additional person can be classed as a primary carer and receive a vaccination.  

The NHS is collating lists of unpaid carers drawn from a mixture of national and local sources, including those who: 

• Are eligible for a carer’s allowance 
• Are identified as a primary carer by their GP 
• Are receiving support following a carer’s assessment by their local council or from a local carer’s organisation 
 
We recognise that the above sources will not identify all eligible unpaid carers. Unpaid carers over the age of 18 who are not already known to health and care services can 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. 
 
You must be over 18 to book using the national booking service and you will need to provide: 
 
• Your name and date of birth 
• Your NHS number 

Almost all children with COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild disease. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that only children at very high risk of catching the virus and serious illness, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities in residential care, may be offered vaccination. 

 
If you care for a child under the age of 16 with a severe neuro disability, then you will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Carers of young adults, aged between 16 and 18, will be able to get their COVID-19 vaccine if the young adult they care for is clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 as defined in table 3 of the PHE Green Book

The nature of unpaid care is broad, and the roles and responsibilities that carers provide varies both in scope and intensity. It can include help with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed and personal care such as bathing, helping with shopping and housework, and emotional support, like helping someone to cope with the symptoms of a mental illness. 

If you are the sole or primary carer for someone who is clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 as defined in table 3 of the PHE Green Book, then you will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine as an unpaid carer. This includes those with severe mental illness, such as individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or any mental illness that causes severe functional impairment. Equally if the person you look after is on the shielding list and considered to be Clinically Extremely Vulnerable due to an underlying health condition, separate to their mental illness, then you can get the COVID-19 vaccine as an unpaid carer. 

So long as you are the sole or primary carer who provides close personal care or face to face support for an elderly or disabled person who is clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 in JCVI groups 1-6, you will be eligible to get your COVID-19 vaccine.  

Carers will be contacted in phases, starting with those carers already known to health and social care services. Those who are identified as a primary carer on their GP’s register or eligible for a carer’s allowance will be invited first, followed by those who have had a statutory carers assessment by their local council or are receiving support from local carers organisation. 
 
Unpaid carers over the age of 18 who are not already known to health and care services can 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. 

If you are an unpaid carer and you are unsure if you are eligible, contact your local council or local carers organisation and they will advise you if you are able to receive your COVID-19 vaccine.

Every possible effort will be made to vaccinate eligible carers at the same time as the people they care for. Eligible unpaid carers are encouraged to make themselves known to the vaccination service as a carer, so that they and the person they care for can both be vaccinated at the same time where this is possible. 

If you are an eligible unpaid carer and you will be accompanying the person you care for to their vaccination appointment at their local GP vaccination service, and you haven’t received your invitation yet, if you wish to receive your vaccination at the same time you must make this known to the GP surgery in advance to confirm an appointment as the vaccination sites are not able to support walk-in appointments. 

Carers can be invited for vaccination through one of two routes – either through the NHS or through their local GP vaccination service (Primary Care Network). 

Their vaccination will either be at a vaccination site in their local community supported by their GP practice, or at a large vaccination centre. If a carer is invited for vaccination through the NHS and the distance to travel to a vaccination centre or community pharmacy is difficult, they will be offered the flexibility to book their vaccine through the local GP vaccination service instead, so that where possible they can be vaccinated at the same time as the person they care for. 
 
This needs to be booked via their GP with the local GP vaccination service and they may need to provide their letter from the NHS as proof of eligibility. 

When you go and get your vaccine, it’s advised that you take along with you the confirmation of your appointment, photo ID to prove your identity, and your NHS number if you have it. 

You do not need to prove you are a carer. If you do not have a photo ID, that’s okay as you won’t be turned away, but you may be asked to confirm your identity such as your name, date of birth, and address.  

The COVID-19 vaccines are not licenced for people under the age of 16, and only certain vaccines are licensed for use on people aged 16 or 17. If a person is aged 16 or 17 and is eligible for a carers allowance or provides close personal care for someone who is clinically vulnerable to COVID-19, the NHS will contact them when it’s their turn and they will be given a vaccine appropriate for their age by their GP. 

Where necessary, the GP will support the young carer if there are issues in relation to consent. This would be consistent with current practice in relation to other treatments and immunisations. Unpaid carers over the age of 18 who are not already known to health and care services can 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. 
 
You must be over 18 to book using the national booking service and you will need to provide: 
 
• Your name and date of birth 
• Your NHS number 
 
Vaccinations will not be offered to people under the age of 16 unless they are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 and meet the clinical criteria for vaccination set out by the JCVI.

Whilst an individual’s NHS number might be used for administration purposes, having an NHS number is not a pre-requisite to be offered the coronavirus vaccine. 

The provision of the COVID-19 vaccine is a primary medical service and will be offered to all individuals living in the UK. This will include those who are living in the UK without permission when provided by GP practices or community pharmacies. 
 
If individuals are registered with a GP, then their GP will contact them in due course. If they are not registered with a GP, NHS Regional teams, working with various local systems will reach out to unregistered people to ensure they are offered the vaccine.