The Government has today taken steps to ensure that unpaid carers can use a specific letter to identify themselves to gain priority for their booster jabs for COVID-19 along with paid care workers if there are long queues. Carers UK has welcomed the fact that the Government has made unpaid carers part of the priority groups for vaccination.
Since the plans for COVID-19 boosters have been speeded up, Carers UK has become worried about unpaid carers who cannot leave the person they care for alone for very long or cannot stand in queues with the person they care for because they may become upset, agitated, or exhausted. We have been talking to the Government in England and the vaccination leads about how to ensure that unpaid carers get quick access to the COVID-19 booster jab. The Government has listened, and carers can now use a letter to prove that they are an unpaid carer to get priority access in queues. Carers UK will be writing out to its carer-members and Affiliate organisations in England to ensure that they have the right information to hand.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said;
“We’re pleased that the Government has acted swiftly to provide unpaid carers with a means of identification, so they don’t have the worry of long queues to get their booster jab. It’s a very practical way of helping carers quickly and is clear recognition of the valuable role that unpaid carers play in supporting relatives and friends who need care, especially during the pandemic.
“It’s so important that carers are able to get the booster as soon as they practicably can – it not only protects them, but their household and the person they are caring for too. In our State of Caring 2021 survey, carers told us of the positive difference that vaccination makes to their levels of worry, stress and anxiety about keeping themselves and their relative or friend safe. If any unpaid carers haven’t had their first or second dose, it’s not too late. We suggest you book as soon as you can and get yourself protected.”