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Covid-19 vaccinations for carers

Government guidance on vaccinations for unpaid carers in England who care for a person vulnerable to COVID-19 is available on the government website.

The JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) has included eligible unpaid carers on the vaccination priority list (UK wide) in group six.

What is the definition of a carer for priority group six and how to register for a vaccine? 

The JCVI define carers who qualify as: ‘Those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.’ For further details, see the JCVI definition – p10-11

If you have not been called up yet and believe you are eligible for a vaccine, it is advisable to register at your local GP practice, according to the latest NHS guidance. To clarify your status as a carer, it might help to complete the template letter below and return to your GP practice. 

If you have received a vaccine invitation from the NHS, you can still book through the national online booking system. Please note it is no longer possible to book through this system unless you have received an NHS notification advising you to do so.

You should automatically be notified about your vaccine if:

  • you have been receiving Carer's Allowance or have an underlying entitlement
  • you are receiving support following a carer’s assessment
  • your GP record already records that you are eligible as a carer.

There are lots of benefits to being recorded as an unpaid carer on your GP record. It helps your GP to know, so you can be advised of local support services and prioritised for certain vaccines, including COVID-19 and the flu vaccine. You can refer to this government guidance for more information.

Young carers

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.

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.