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Carers encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Primary care staff in the Vale of York are encouraging carers who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 to get the jab to protect themselves and the person they care for.

People who receive a carer's allowance and those who are the sole or primary carer of someone who is at increased risk from COVID-19 may be eligible for the vaccine without realising it.

They are now being asked to arrange their vaccine appointment as soon as possible by using the national booking service online or by calling 119 for free from a landline or mobile between 7am-11pm.

Those who think they should be eligible as a carer, but cannot book using the national booking service, should speak to their GP surgery who may be able to arrange an appointment at a local NHS service.

Heather White, Practice Manager at Helmsley Medical Centre, said: "It is really important that you contact your GP about the vaccine if you think you should be eligible as a carer. Being protected against the virus is vital, especially when you care for someone who may be at greater risk."

"Your GP may also be able to update your record to reflect that you are a carer, and this makes sure you have priority for other vaccines, like the flu jab."

There are a number of benefits to being registered with a GP as a carer. As well as being prioritised for certain other vaccines, carers who are registered with their GP practice can access additional support and advice from local services.

The call from primary care staff to carers comes during Carers Week 2021 which is aiming to help make caring visible and valuable, and ensure that carers are recognised for the work they are doing.

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend due to their disability, health condition, frailty, mental health problem, addiction or other health and care need. This includes looking after a child, who has special physical or mental health support needs.

Carers UK provides support for carers, with help and advice on a range of subjects available online. Support can also be accessed by email (advice@carersuk.org), or by calling 0808 808 7777 between 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday.

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