Unpaid carers and the COVID19 vaccine

On 30 December 2020, the government clarified that unpaid carers are one of the priority groups for the Covid19 vaccine. This is set out under the “Persons with underlying health conditions” heading. Carers can now access vaccinations as part of Priority Group 6 (many would have already due to their own age/health condition).

  • You may have been invited if you are in receipt of Carers Allowance and/or registered with your GP surgery or Local Authority as a carer
  • We worked with the County Council to invite many more carers for vaccination
  • If you haven't been invited, you may wish to try to book online or call 119 with your NHS number to hand
  • The vaccine programme recognises that the above sources will not identify all eligible unpaid carers. Unpaid carers who are not known to the health, care or social security system are now being asked to contact their GP. The GP will ask the unpaid carers a few questions which will determine if they are eligible for the vaccine.

In terms of eligibility for vaccination, please note that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the Public Health England (PHE) Green Book have outlined that the unpaid carers eligible for the Coronavirus vaccine are:

Those who are eligible for carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.

Page 11 of the Green Book

Those clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 are listed in the Green Book and include:

  • Children with severe neuro-disabilities
    Those who are designated Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and were in Priority Group 4
  • Adults who have underlying health conditions (and are in Priority Group 6 alongside unpaid carers)
  • Those who need care because of advance age
  • As such parent carers, caring for children under-16, are not eligible for vaccination unless those children have a severe neuro-disability. This is because the main target for this cohort are carers of people who are at risk from Covid, which children generally are not.
  • Carers themselves need to be 16 or older - please note that that 16 & 17 year olds can old have the Pfizer vaccination and not the AstraZeneca so won't be vaccinated at the mass vaccination centre in Moulton Park

Easy read guide to vaccines


For more information and to see the full list of restrictions, click here

We would always recommend checking the official guidance

We are currently planning a phased return to services (whilst not losing the positive lessons we've learnt) in line with the Prime Minister's roadmap.

What do these regulations mean to me & my family?

Can I continue to provide care? Yes, throughout this pandemic one exception to restrictions has been to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable. You can also provide respite for another carer. 
Can I visit loved-ones in hospital or care homes?

Most hospital visits aren't allowed unless under special circumstances however some hospitals are helping facilitate Zoom calls.

Visits to care homes can take place (if permitted under care home guidance) with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not allowed. No visits will be permitted in the event of an outbreak.

If needed to do so, you may be able to accompany the person you care for to a medical appointment and are able to transport them.

If you are planning to visit, or accompany someone to, a care home, hospice, hospital or other healthcare setting, you should check that this is permitted by the facility.

What about end of life care? Another exception is to see someone who is terminally ill or at the end of life regardless of whether you are providing care. If your loved one is in a care home or hospital, it would be advisable to first speak to staff to agree a plan as they also have to protect staff and other patients. Similarly if they are at home, it would be prudent to have a plan with professionals and family members to make this as safe as possible.
Can I attend a funeral Yes with no more than 30 people present – or a commemorative event such as a wake for someone who has died – with no more than 15 people present
What is a support bubble?

A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult or a household with one adult and one or more people who were under the age of 18 on 12 June 2020 in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.

Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in the same household so can mix regardless of tier alert level.

Once you make a support bubble, you cannot change who is in your bubble.

Are there other exemptions to covid restrictions There are several other caveats in the official guidance which aren't all listed here however they include to provide emergency assistance, childcare, education, to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm and to facilitate a house move.
Can I socialise inside? No - you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
Can I socialise outside? Yes, within the rule of 6 (up to 6 people from up to 2 households/bubbles). This includes outdoor cafes & pubs from 12th April
What will be open? Non-essential shops and hairdressers can reporn on 12th April will be open if covid secure (so mask wearing , social distancing etc). Pubs & cafes can open outdoors.
Is the NHS Test & Trace App still being used? Yes - The app will helps understand where and how quickly the virus is spreading. It will be used alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus, while protecting users' anonymity. 
When will I need to self-isolate?

The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough; a high temperature; a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

If you have any of these symptoms  you must stay at home and arrange a test to see if you have coronavirus.

If you live with others, anyone who develops symptoms in your household must stay at home for at least 10 days – and everyone else in the household who remains well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

How does Lockdown impact your services Unless unavoidable (for example regulated care) we will continue to deliver our services via telephone and online however we are easing services in line with Government guidance.

We are aware that these are especially difficult for Carers. The Government have produced the following official guides:

Carers Guidance  Young Carers (under 25) Guidance  A guide to being active at home  British Sign Language

Further advice is available from Carers Trust & Carers UK

Multilingual information on coronavirus is available via Doctors of the World