The NHS in Leeds is urging people aged 16 and over who provide vital unpaid care and support for others to come forward for their vaccination.
Unpaid Carers of elderly or disabled people are included in priority group 6, as recommended by the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations. However, the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in Leeds is concerned that some people may be missing out on getting the vital jab because they do not know they are eligible or do not think of themselves as a Carer.
Significant numbers of unpaid Carers should have already been invited for the vaccine either because they receive Carers Allowance, are registered with their GP as a Carer, or are in one or more of the priority groups 2-9. However, anyone who is the main carer for an elderly or disabled person is also eligible and the NHS is working with Leeds Council and Carers Leeds to help them to get their vaccination as soon as possible.
Dr Jason Broch, Clinical Chair of NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group and GP in Leeds said:
“It’s estimated that there are over 75,000 people in Leeds who look after a family member or loved one but we know many may not see themselves as a Carer. However, their support is vital to that person’s wellbeing and we want to make sure they have their vaccination so they are protected both for their own sake and for the person they care for.
“By registering for a vaccination, people will also be able to indicate to their GP practice that they are Carers. This may help them to access other help in the future aimed at helping them to look after themselves, as well as the person they care for.”
Val Hewison of Carers Leeds said:
“Carers play a significant role looking after people who are at high risk of serious illness from Corona virus which means it is vital that they also have the vaccination. Unpaid carers can use our web page on www.carersleeds.org.uk to register and we will contact those carers within 48 hours”.
Alternatively unpaid carers can phone 119 to register for a vaccination. They will then be contacted to make an appointment at a community vaccination service or by their local GP practice.
This post is based on a press release issued by NHS Leeds