Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine
Information for Unpaid Carers
This page provides information about the coronavirus vaccine for unpaid carers in Kingston.
You can find more information about the coronavirus vaccine on our main vaccine page.
For information for paid carers and social care staff, visit our Vaccinations for Workers in Social Care page.
Am I a carer?
A carer is anyone, including children and adults, who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs care and support because they are living with a disability, long term illness, a mental health problem or an addiction. The care they give is unpaid.
If you are providing care and support to a family member, partner or friend then you are legally recognised as a carer.
If you are paid to provide care for someone please see our separate web pages here where you can find out more about access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Am I eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine?
If you are eligible for the Carer's Allowance, you will receive a letter inviting you to have your vaccination. You are eligible to book now if you are over the age of 45 or clinically extremely vulnerable. You can book by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or ringing 119 free. Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the vaccine.
For all other groups, the NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine.
Carers are eligible to be vaccinated as part of priority group 6 if they are:
- Eligible for a carer's allowance
- The sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable
Those clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 include:
- children with severe neuro-disabilities,
- those who are designated Clinically Extremely vulnerable (CEV),
- adults who have underlying health conditions,
- and those who need care because of advanced age.
Further detailed information on priority groups is available in Chapter 14a of the COVID-19 Green Book, including a table of underlying health conditions (Table 3).
We want to reassure our carers who are not eligible at this stage. It may be that you are part of the next priority groups, for example because of your age. The Government is clear about getting the whole of the population vaccinated by the autumn.
What should I do if I am a carer?
If you are under 45 and caring for someone then we would recommend that you make sure your GP knows that you are a carer.
The NHS are currently contacting people who are registered as a carer with their GPs to invite them for a vaccine.
If you are eligible for the Carer's Allowance, you will receive a letter inviting you to have your vaccination.
We will also be working with our local Carers organisations to identify the carers registered with those organisations.
If you are registered with your GP and/ or in receipt of Carer's allowance and haven’t been contacted yet, please be assured that you will be contacted. This is a phased approach and it may take a bit of time for you to get a letter, text or phone call.
If the person you care for is being called for a vaccine, you may be able to be vaccinated at the same time depending on eligibility and availability of the vaccine. This will be determined by the person administering the vaccine.
We will be providing further information for those eligible unpaid carers, who are under 45, caring for someone and who may not be known to their GP, local carer organisation or in receipt of Carers allowance as soon as we receive any updated national guidance on the COVID-19 vaccine, this is expected next week. If you are a carer who would like further support from a local organisation, the Kingston Carers Network is a local registered charity who provides independent information, advice and advocacy and support to people who care for someone living in the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames. They support carers of all ages including young carers aged 5 - 18.
Carers UK, a national membership charity, also have an FAQs page about the vaccine to support carers with the latest information.
I am a young carer - what should I do?
A young carer is anyone who is under 18 and a carer for a family member, partner or friend who needs care and support because they are living with a disability, long term illness, a mental health problem or an addiction. The care they give is unpaid.
We will be providing more information about the COVID-19 vaccination for carers shortly. However, only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for under 18s. We will be working with our local NHS services to ensure young carers are directed to the right place to receive their vaccine.
If you are a young carer who would like further support from a local organisation the Kingston Carers Network is a local registered charity who provides independent information, advice and advocacy and support to people who care for someone living in Kingston. They support carers of all ages including 700 young carers aged 5 - 18 in Kingston.
What proof should I take with me when I get my vaccine?
You should bring with you a print out of the information you receive when you book your vaccine appointment as proof of eligibility.