COVID-19 Vaccinations for unpaid carers
People at greatest risk of serious illness from COVID, including carers are eligible for a vaccine booster.
Am I eligible for a COVID booster?
The following people are eligible for a COVID booster:
- Residents in care homes for older adults
- All adults aged 65 years and over
- People aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group, as defined in tables 3 and 4 of the COVID-19 chapter of the UKHSA Green Book on Immunisation
- frontline health and social care workers.
- People aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression, as defined in the UKHSA Green Book
- People aged 16 to 64 years who are carers, as defined in the UKHSA Green Book, and staff working in care homes for older adults
This is because the risk of severe COVID continues to be strongly associated with increasing age and underlying health conditions.
How can I get the vaccine for myself or someone I care for?
Vaccinations are available locally at a range of different sites including some GP practices, pharmacies, large vaccination sites and pop-up clinics.
You can apply for the vaccine using the national online booking system.
You can also call 119 or visit a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site.
If you have any concerns or access requirements to receive your vaccinations, please let your local Carers Service know. They may be able to help to overcome any barriers you have.
For further information about the availability of vaccinations near to you please follow the links to your local Carers Service below:
- Living in the Devon County Council area
- Living in the Plymouth City Council area
- Living in the Torbay Council area
There are lots of benefits to being recorded as an unpaid carer on your GP record. It helps your GP to know, so that 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. It may be helpful to clarify your status as a carer - see our template letter.
If you are a young carer (under 18) please contact Time 4 u by phone or text on 07899 950155 to discuss your situation so we can help you to have your vaccination.
Can I receive the vaccine/booster at the same time as someone I care for?
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. Note that the vaccination sites are not able to support walk-in appointments.
Every effort should be made to ensure that you can be vaccinated at the same time as someone you care for if you are accompanying them to their appointment.
Can't leave the person you care for? Have problems getting there? Something else stopping you? Call 01752 201890 to find out what support we can give you, such as sitting services, support with transport, someone to talk through concerns.
Access Plymouth - Community Car, Ring & Ride is a not for profit car sharing scheme to help people with mobility problems get around Plymouth.
What can I do to prepare for the vaccine?
When notified about your vaccine, book your appointment as soon as possible.
Take steps to arrange alternative support for the person you are caring for while you are at your vaccination appointment.
Read the coronavirus vaccination leaflet so you know what to expect when being vaccinated.
Ensure you have some time to rest afterwards.
If you have any questions about the vaccine, it may be helpful to look at reputable sources, such as the NHS site, and make a few notes in advance of your appointment so that you can gain clarity about any concerns.
You may wish to provide additional reassurance to someone you care for about the protection the vaccine could offer them, both now and in the long term.
It is also worth looking at the websites of local carers' organisations or trusts. The roll-out is likely to differ from area to area, and many of these provide useful details about what options will be available where you live.
What kind of scams do I need to watch out for?
A false NHS text message has been circulating requesting that you click on a link to apply for a vaccine. It then takes you through to a fake NHS website platform requesting more information.
For further details on how to spot this, see this helpful link from Which?.
Action Fraud's website states that there has been a recent increase in medical/NHS related email and text message scams. If you feel worried that you or someone you know has been affected, you can contact Action Fraud.
We would also urge you to spread the word among friends and family about scams like this, and only follow information that's available from trustworthy sources. No one should be claiming that you need to pay for the vaccine as there are no shortcuts.
Will I need to pay and how will I be notified?
You will not need to pay for the vaccine. It will be rolled out through the NHS and you will be notified about the process of getting one. It is advisable to be wary of any schemes suggesting that paying is necessary which are likely to be scams.
When it's your turn, you will be contacted by the NHS. You may be contacted by phone, email, letter or text so it's a good idea to keep an eye on all your channels.
You may be asked to go:
- to hospital
- to a local GP practice or community pharmacy
- to a vaccination centre
- or special arrangements will be made if you are unable to travel.
How safe are the COVID-19 vaccines?
The vaccines cannot be approved by the UK regulator (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency - MHRA) until they have been rigorously tested to meet the highest safety standards. Therefore, at this stage of public roll out, we can be assured that they have met these standards.
The current recommendation is that there should be a gap of at least seven days in between the vaccines according to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
You will be contacted directly when it is possible for you, or those you care for, to receive the vaccine and it is important to discuss any concerns you might have with a medical professional.
Flu vaccinations are available via your doctor's surgery or your local pharmacy shown via the link below. Find a pharmacy that offers the NHS flu vaccine.
You can take your Carer's passport with you to show that you are a carer.
What can I expect after having the vaccine or booster?
Any side-effects from the vaccine or booster should be mild and short-term. If you continue to feel unwell, it is important to get a test for COVID-19 and self-isolate as a precautionary measure. The possible side-effects you might experience can be found on the NHS website.
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