COVID-19 vaccinations offered to unpaid carers of elderly and disabled people across Norfolk and Waveney
Local health and care organisations are urging ‘unknown’ carers to register their contact details in order to get an appointment at one of Norfolk and Waveney’s 34 COVID-19 vaccination sites.
In line with national guidance, appointments for COVID-19 vaccination are now being offered to eligible, unpaid carers identified within cohort 6 by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The JCVI defines eligible carers as those who:
- Are in receipt of a carer’s allowance OR
- Are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 OR whose welfare may be at risk if their carer falls ill.
This includes carers who are:
- A parent or primary carer of a disabled child or young person
- Young carers aged 16+
- Caring for someone with severe mental illness
The NHS, county councils and carer organisations want to identify carers who may not be registered or known to their GP practice or local council services. They are also calling on any paid carers who have not yet been offered the vaccine to get in touch.
Those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person but do not receive a carer allowance or related benefits are unlikely to be known to their local authority. And those who have not notified their GP of their caring responsibilities will not be flagged as a carer on their GP record. These ‘unknown’ carers are now asked to make contact with local health and care services so they can be invited for vaccination in the coming weeks.
Eligible carers of an elderly or disabled person who:
- are aged 16+ (there is currently no vaccine licensed for under-16s)
- have not already got an appointment booked for COVID-19 vaccination and
have not already had their first vaccine
...can contact us between now and 31 March to register themselves as a carer. The easiest way to do this is online at: apps.norfolk.gov.uk/carervax
A 24/7 telephone voicemail service is available for people to leave their contact details but only if they are unable to register as an eligible carer online 01603 257 256.
Paid care workers who have not yet received a vaccine or been identified via their employer should also contact Norfolk County Council via the same website address - apps.norfolk.gov.uk/carervax This could include people working for a home care provider, a private agency, people paid as a personal assistant through Direct Payments or those working under a private arrangement.
These contact details are also available on the CCG and Norfolk County Council websites and social media channels.
If you are registered as a carer with your GP practice or are in receipt of regular carers allowance payments you should automatically receive an invite and do not need to contact us.
If you are not eligible for vaccination as a carer, please do not contact your GP practice or try to register for a COVID-19 vaccination. It is important these appointments are prioritised for those who are now eligible under this cohort to help protect them and those they care for.
Younger adults in long-stay in-patient, nursing and residential care settings are also eligible for vaccination under cohort 6, but will be vaccinated by ‘roving’ vaccination teams who will be in touch with homes directly to book in their vaccinations.
James Bullion, Norfolk County Council’s Executive Director of Adult Social Services, said: “It is really important that we support people who care for family members, friends, and loved ones to ensure they have the protection they need from Covid-19. I would urge anyone in this category who may not be known to local health and care services to contact us using the information provided. This will ensure that they receive an invitation for vaccination in the coming weeks.”
Howard Martin, Locality Director at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group said “This year has highlighted more than ever the crucial role of unpaid carers. Those with caring responsibilities are keeping families going, meeting their needs and keeping them safe. This is the largest vaccination programme ever undertaken by the NHS and it is essential that we do this in a planned way, prioritising those in most need of protection from the virus in line with the national guidance.”
If any carer feels they will have challenges getting to their appointment, including with transport or due to leaving the person they look after, free support is available from Caring Together. Please visit: www.caringtogether.org for more information.
For more information, please read our FAQs here.
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