COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for Carers in Sussex
Updated: 21st February 2022
COVID-19 vaccinations rollout for eligible unpaid carers
Update to the vaccination programme following Government guidance on 12th December 2021
Across Sussex, the NHS and its partners are working hard to roll out the COVID-19 booster vaccination programme to communities following the recent rise of the Omicron variant.
All adults are eligible to receive a booster vaccination, and you will be able to book via the NHS National Booking System You can book your booster for 3 months from the date of your second vaccine, and you can access the National Booking System to book the appointment from 2 months.
COVID-19 booster vaccination letter for carers
The Government has taken steps to ensure that unpaid carers can use this specific letter to identify themselves so that they have priority for the COVID-19 booster jabs along with paid care workers if there are long queues. As a carer, you can use this letter to prove that you are an unpaid carer to get priority access for the booster. If you have not already had your COVID-19 booster, you can print the letter out and take it with you, or save it onto a mobile or tablet device and show it to vaccination centre staff. The letter is available here.
The Sussex NHS Commissioners are working to increase the availability of appointments so that there are plenty of options for people on the National Booking System. Some local vaccination services will also contact patients directly. More information about the latest booster vaccination rollout is on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website here.
It’s more important than ever to get the winter vaccines as soon as possible, as both flu and COVID-19 viruses have the potential to cause serious illness and hospitalisation. Find out more on the NHS website here. A Sussex NHS Commissioner’s video about the flu vaccine and who can get it can be watched here.
It is free to receive the flu jab on the NHS if you:
- are aged 50 years and over (including those who will be aged 50 by 31/3/22)
- are an unpaid carer receiving a Carer’s Allowance or are the main carer for someone who may be at risk if you get ill
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections
- have certain health conditions
- are in long-stay residential care
- are pregnant
Am I eligible for a vaccination as an unpaid carer?
Yes. All adult unpaid carers aged 16 years and over can receive a vaccination. Unpaid carers include anyone who is eligible for a Carer’s Allowance, or anyone who is the main carer for someone whose welfare may be at risk if their carer fell ill. Click here for details and how to book your appointment.
Does that include parent carers?
Yes. Across Sussex the NHS is including as many eligible parent carers as possible. In Sussex parent carers are eligible if they are caring for a child or young person up to 25, with a special educational need or disability that has a big effect on them every day.
As a guide, this usually means your child has, or is eligible for, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Education Health and Care (EHC) plan, a Compass or iGO Card, or is accessing services such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Does that include young carers (16 or 17-year olds)?
Yes. Sussex CCG are currently working with carers’ organisations and Local Authorities to identify a specific route to invite young carers to specific vaccination centres that are administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
How can I get vaccinated?
Currently, there are two ways that you can access a vaccination:
- Register with your local carers’ organisation (see below), and we will help you access the local vaccination services via your GP-led local vaccination service, or
- Book online via the National Booking Service at: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 (however we have found the website service to be intermittent).
Do you look after a relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without your support?
Many people supporting in this way will not previously have registered as an unpaid carer. If you are not already registered with a carers’ organisation, you may wish to do so.
Registering with a local carers organisation means you can get information and support when you need it most. You can also be kept up to date with how to access a Covid-19 vaccination as an unpaid carer.
Local Carer Organisations in Sussex
- In East Sussex: Care for the Carers. www.cftc.org.uk, 01323 738 390, email: email@example.com
- In West Sussex: Carers Support West Sussex. www.carerssupport.org.uk, 0300 028 8888
- In Brighton & Hove: The Carers Centre for Brighton and Hove. www.thecarerscentre.org, 01273 977000
- Parent Carers across Sussex: Amaze. www.amazesussex.org.uk, 01273 772289
Information on using the NHS smartphone app as a COVID-19 Vaccine Passport can be found by downloading this information.
We will share new information about the vaccination process in East Sussex via our social media channels, this website and with subscribers to our e-newsletter. You can sign up for our e-newsletter here.
If you are a young carer in East Sussex, aged 5-18 years, who is looking after someone, or you know someone who is a young carer, there is help and support during the pandemic. Please contact Imago East Sussex Young Carers here.
Information related to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on our regularly updated page here.