In a change to previous thinking, the Government has now decided that unpaid carers are to be included in the next phase (cohort six) of the roll-out of the vaccine.
Unpaid carers are defined as “those 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”.
Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, said: “Being called for the vaccine in this next phase will bring many unpaid carers a huge sense of relief, having carefully managed the risk of the virus to themselves and their older or disabled relatives for almost a year.
“Carers should wait to be called to book an appointment, and once vaccinated some of the hardest-pressed carers will be able to access support with their caring role for the first time in many months.
“This will be the biggest identification programme of unpaid carers ever carried out and should see more carers connected to local support systems.”
While unpaid carers have not yet been formally announced in NHS England’s press notice as one of the core groups being contacted in this next phase of the vaccine roll-out, they are included in NHS England’s communication to GP practices and Primary Care Networks this weekend, which asks them to start focusing on the vaccination of unpaid carers as well as the other eligible groups announced today.
Eligible carers will be contacted via the National Booking System to receive an invitation to book their vaccination.
The GP guidance also states that local areas can flex these arrangements to administer the vaccine to carers directly.
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