People aged 16 – 64 years old in the Forth Valley area, who provide face to face care and support for others (and have not already had their first vaccine dose or appointment letter), are being invited to register for their COVID-19 vaccination.
A new self-registration service has been launched to help people check if they are eligible as an unpaid carer. Carers who receive relevant benefits should have already received a letter with details of their appointment, but all eligible unpaid carers are being encouraged to self-register – when they do, they will be advised if they are already scheduled for an appointment, so there is no duplication.
There are an estimated 700,000 people in Scotland who care for a friend, family member or neighbour affected by a disability, physical or mental ill health, frailty or a substance misuse.
Many of these people may not realise they are eligible to receive the vaccine now as part of group 6 on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority list.
The care they provide could be anything from domestic tasks such as regularly helping with the shopping, picking up prescriptions or preparing meals, to personal care such as helping them to wash and dress. It could also be emotional support to someone such as a partner, friend or family member with a long-term health condition.
Getting the vaccine reduces your risk of COVID-19 and helps ensure that you can continue to support the individuals that you care for.
Jillian Taylor, Operational Lead for NHS Forth Valley’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “Carers play a crucial role in the community and we recognise that the events of the past year have put more pressure than ever before on those who provide care and support for others. You may not consider yourself a carer, but if you provide vital face to face care to anyone, be it family, friend or neighbour, then you could be eligible to receive the vaccine now. Getting the vaccine reduces your risk of COVID-19 and supports you to keep well and in turn, ensure those you care for are safe.
“We are hugely thankful to our carer community and urge them to protect themselves by registering for the vaccine now.”
To register or to check if you are eligible, or for further information, visit the NHS Scotland website.
Alternatively, call the COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline: 0800 030 8013, or visit the Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Carers Centre website.