Informal carers across Southampton will soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine; this includes those that are unpaid or have family caring responsibilities for someone who is ill or disabled.
Carers who provide informal care to a family member or friend are serving a vital role during the pandemic with many taking on additional caring roles. Every day carers have faced the fear of passing on the virus to the person they care for or falling ill and being unable to give the care needed.
After extensive trials, the first safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 have been approved and are now being delivered nationwide through hospital hubs and GP surgeries to those who are the most vulnerable.
Carers who are registered with a Southampton GP Practice are being urged to register as a carer with Carers in Southampton if they have not done so already, to be on the priority list to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
Tell Carers in Southampton by calling 0870 315 6547 (Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm). More information can be found on the Carers in Southampton webpage.
Carers will be contacted directly by the NHS when it is their turn to be vaccinated.
Linda Lawless, Service Manager for Carers in Southampton, said: ”By placing unpaid carers in one of the priority groups for the vaccine, the Government recognises that you are extremely important, not just to the people you care for, but to society in general. To ensure you are called for your vaccine as a carer when it is your turn, we urge all unpaid carers to contact us to pre-register yourselves for the vaccine as a carer.”
Councillor Christopher Hammond, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: “The vaccination programme aims to help keep carers and their loved ones safe, so it is important that all carers take up their offer of a free COVID-19 vaccine.
“You may not identify yourself or someone you know as an unpaid or family carer, but they could be anyone giving their time, unpaid, to look after someone who needs additional support. This could be a family member, for example a spouse, partner, parent, child, sibling or it could be a friend or neighbour. If you think you are a carer, I urge you to register as a carer with Carers in Southampton to receive your vaccination at the earliest opportunity or if you know someone who is a carer please let them know they will receive an early vaccination if they register.”
More information about the vaccine including FAQs.
What is a carer?
Individuals may not realise that someone is an unpaid or family carer. Unpaid or family carers could be:
- Anyone giving their time, unpaid, to look after someone who needs additional support. This could be a family member, for example a spouse, partner, parent, child, sibling or it could be a friend or neighbour.
- Providing support all the time, some of the time or from time to time in a voluntary capacity.
- Supporting someone with a physical or learning disability, a sensory impairment, dementia, long term health condition, mental ill health, substance misuse or frailty through old age.
- Providing personal care, collecting prescriptions and assisting with medications, providing mobility assistance or transport, accompanying to appointments, doing paperwork, paying bills, doing laundry, helping keep home or garden clean and tidy, planning, buying and preparing food, providing emotional support.
- Receiving Carers Allowance or other care related benefits. You are still an unpaid carer even if you receive Carers Allowance or other carer related benefits.