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Carers UK responds to COVID-19 vaccination priority list

02 December 2020

In its advice published today, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has not included unpaid carers - people caring for older, disabled and seriously ill relatives - in its priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. The priority groups are as follows:

1: Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers (here they refer to care workers)

2: All those 80 years of age and over Frontline health and social care workers

3: All those 75 years of age and over

4: All those 70 years of age and over Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals*

5: All those 65 years of age and over

6: All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality

7: All those 60 years of age and over

8: All those 55 years of age and over

9: All those 50 years of age and over

Responding Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“Unpaid carers will be at a complete loss as to why they are not on the priority list for the COVID-19 vaccination along with other health and care workers, after all they have done to protect family members since March.

“They have made huge sacrifices over the last nine months to protect their loved ones from COVID-19 - taking every possible step to mitigate risks and keep that person as safe as possible. They have sacrificed their own breaks from caring, their physical and mental health, reduced their working hours and significantly limited their contact with the outside world in an extraordinary effort to keep relatives safe while waiting for the vaccine.

“The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation has already prioritised unpaid carers for the flu vaccine, recognising that if carers get the flu it can seriously impact their ability to care and also put the person they care for at risk. If carers get ill then health and social care services are placed under even more pressure.

“The same logic should be applied to the COVID-19 vaccination. Just like key workers, unpaid carers are playing a crucial role in keeping older, disabled and seriously ill people safe from this virus and the Government must urgently put them on the priority list.”

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