Carers of elderly or disabled people are included in priority group 6, as recommended by the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations. However, there are concerns that some people may be missing out on getting the vital jab because they do not know they are eligible or think of themselves as a carer.
People who receive Carer’s Allowance or are already registered with their GP as a carer should have already been invited for an appointment. However, anyone who is the main carer for an elderly or disabled person is also eligible and the NHS is working with Carers Wakefield and District to help them to get their vaccination as soon as possible.
Anyone over 16 who provides regular or intense care and support for someone they live with or are in a bubble with should contact Carers Wakefield and District service on 01924 305 545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for carer support and become eligible for the vaccine. They will then be contacted to make an appointment at a community vaccination service or by their local GP practice.
Dr Colin Speers, local GP and Clinical Lead for COVID-19 Vaccination said:
“It’s estimated that prior to the pandemic there were over 36,000 people in Wakefield district who look after a family member or loved one but we know many may not see themselves as a carer. However, their support is vital to that person’s wellbeing and we want to make sure they have their vaccination so they are protected both for their own sake and for the person they care for.
“By registering for a vaccination, people will also be marked as a carer with their GP practice, which will help them to access other support to help look after themselves, as well as the person they care for.”
Justine Bilton, Chief Executive, Carers Wakefield and District said: “Carers are the unsung heroes of our community - often caring for loved ones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without support or acknowledgement.
Many more people have been forced into caring roles due to the pandemic, in Wakefield this could be as much as an additional 26,000 individuals who may not realise they are carers, they are “just getting on with it”.
We want to ensure that carers have the support they need should they wish.
By registering with Carers Wakefield, we can ensure that they receive up to date relevant information and advice, a listening ear and a safe place to meet others in similar positions. We will ensure that their GP knows they are caring so that they can be invited for the vaccine at the earliest opportunity and receive other support such as being offered the flu vaccine”.