Due to the large numbers of unpaid carers across Wales and the importance of vaccinating those at highest risk, we cannot vaccinate everyone who provides care for a friend or family member. This is not to devalue the significant caring role undertaken by so many, rather it is to maintain the clear focus of the vaccination programme on preventing deaths and protecting our vital health and social care systems.
Many unpaid carers will receive an earlier vaccination depending on their age.
Unpaid carers aged 50 years and over, who are not prioritised for vaccination as an unpaid carer, will be offered the vaccine in priority groups 7-9. Our aim is to offer vaccination to all those in these priority groups by the middle of April 2021.
Young carers under 16 will not be offered the vaccination. No children under 16 are being vaccinated, unless in exceptional circumstances due to severe neuro-disabilities.
Eligibility for prioritisation is not dependant on receipt of carer’s allowance, membership of a carers’ organisation or being known to social services.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has recommended that unpaid carers (subject to certain eligibility criteria) are in Priority Group 6.
“Those who are eligible for a 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. Those clinically vulnerable to COVID include children with severe neuro-disabilities, those who are designated Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (Shielding), adults who have underlying health conditions and those who need care because of advanced age. Eligible carers should be vaccinated in priority group 6.”
Welsh Government issued guidance on 24 February 2021 stating which groups of unpaid carers should be prioritised for vaccination.
There are three important factors to consider that need to be met to be prioritised in Group 6 for vaccination:
I. The vulnerability of the person being cared for
II. The nature of the care provided to those aged 16 years and over
III. The unpaid carer is the sole or primary carer
Full details can be found: https://gov.wales/covid-19-vaccination-and-unpaid-carers
To be prioritised for vaccination, an unpaid carer should satisfy all three of the above factors.
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s approach to support paid or unpaid carers is as per the JVCI and Welsh Government guidance. Your GP will be aware of the needs of you and your family. If you meet the criteria above,