The Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that people who are in receipt of a Carer’s Allowance, or who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should now be eligible for vaccination.
In Sussex, carers’ organisations and local authorities are working together with the NHS to ensure that all registered unpaid adult carers, including parent carers, can access the vaccine.
The NHS is working hard to roll out the vaccine safely to all eligible people as quickly as possible. The NHS in Sussex is on track to have offered the vaccine to all those in the first nine priority groups by mid-April, in line with the national target. This includes all those over the age of 50 and unpaid adult carers.
If you are a carer, aged 18 or over, who is in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, or if you are already registered as a carer by your GP, you can book right away at one of the larger vaccination centres or pharmacy-led services through the national booking service. Book online or by calling 119.
When booking online, please enter your email address or mobile number to receive confirmation of your appointment. Please also note your reference number, as you must have this should you need to change your appointment.
If you are registered as a carer with your GP, you can also wait to be contacted for an appointment by your local GP-led vaccination service if that is more convenient. If you are registered with the GP as a carer for a person who is now eligible because of an underlying health condition, you might be offered appointments together.
Carers aged 16-17 will be invited to book an appointment through their local GP-led vaccination service to ensure that they receive the Pfizer vaccine. This is the only vaccine currently licensed for this age group.
If you are a carer who is neither in receipt of Carer’s Allowance nor registered as a carer by your GP, but you are registered with one of the local carers’ centres (listed below) or your local authority, you will be identified and invited to book your appointment by the national booking service. This is a large, complex, phased process and may take several weeks to implement, so please do not worry if you do not hear straight away.
An application process for any other eligible carers is being developed nationally and more details will be provided once confirmed.
Do you look after a relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without your support? Many people supporting in this way will not previously have registered as an unpaid carer.
If you are not already registered with a carers’ organisation, you may wish to do so.
Registering with a local carers’ organisation means you can get information and support when you need it most. You can also be kept up to date with plans for carers’ vaccinations as more details become available.
At present, carers’ organisations are receiving a large number of enquiries and working as swiftly as possible to register carers, so please be patient if you are waiting for a response.