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Plans for boosters for unpaid carers published yesterday

NHS England has published its plans for booster jabs for COVID-19 for unpaid carers.

Carers were identified within Priority 6 for the original vaccination, which was warmly welcomed. This led to millions of carers, not only being vaccinated early, but new joint working across health and social care.

The plans for roll-out of the boosters provide important information. Carers who are recorded on their NHS patient record as a carer, carers who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or who are on local authority lists will receive a letter inviting them to receive a booster. Carers who receive a letter are also encouraged to show this letter to their GP practice to be identified as a carer on their patient record. Any carers who are not known to their GP, local authority or receive Carer’s Allowance should contact their local authority or local carer’s organisation in order to be identified.

When people get their boosters is entirely dependent on when they had their second dose as these must be no less than six months apart. There are exceptions for example, people who are immuno-suppressed who will be receiving a third dose. These timings mean that if the carer had the second dose later on, they won’t have their booster any earlier. We’d still urge these carers to identify themselves as a carer with their GP as this could be helpful for the future.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

"It’s fantastic that carers are a clear part of the booster programme building on the real advances that have been made in identifying carers and making sure they get their vaccinations on time. What this also boils down to is how important this is for carers – reduced risk, greater protection, less worry and anxiety. The stories from carers about the value of being vaccinated has been extremely moving. Throughout the pandemic, carers have gone above and beyond to protect their relatives and it’s good news that they are being made a priority again."

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