COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for Carers in Sussex

by | Apr 10, 2021 | Carer News

Updated: 26th March 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations rollout for eligible unpaid carers

Am I eligible for a vaccination as an unpaid carer?

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.

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, such as Care for the Carers in East Sussex, 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 bookings are suspended nationally in April).

Invitations to be vaccinated

The National Vaccination Programme has sent out invitations for vaccination to people who, at the beginning of March, were:

  • eligible for Carers Allowance
  • registered with their GP as a carer
  • registered with a local Carers’ organisation
  • accessing services provided by a County Council Adult Social Care or Children’s Services’ Departments

No new invitations will be going out over the coming weeks and may continue until the end of April. We need anyone who hasn’t booked to date to share their information with their local carer’s organisation, so they can be invited to a local vaccination service.

Booking online

The usual booking route using the National Booking Service (NBS) will be suspended from the 1st April 2021, due to the supply levels of the vaccination. Currently, we cannot guarantee a date when this service will be back up and running. Our best advice is to regularly check Care for the Carers’ website and social media channels to receive the most up-to-date information. If you do not have access to online facilities, we suggest nominating a friend or family member who has and can update you.

Once the National Booking Service is running again

If you are an eligible unpaid carer you can also choose to book a vaccination appointment yourself using the national NHS link at: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119.

How to complete the on-line booking form if you are an eligible unpaid carer

When you reach question 7 on the national booking link that asks if you are the ‘main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus’ you must tick ‘yes.’

You will then be asked if you ‘provide personal care to this person.’ Again, you must tick ‘yes’ to this question. You will then be able to select a vaccination centre and book an appointment date and time that is convenient to you.

If you need any help or support with vaccination booking please use the contact details at the end of this page.

Finally, if you are not yet registered as a carer with your GP and/or a carers’ organisation please do consider doing this. It will mean that you will be kept up to date with important news about services and support in your area. If you live in East Sussex, you can register with Care for the Carers on our website here. Or alternatively please contact your local carers’ organisation (contact details below). 

Where to get more information or help

The Sussex Health and Care Partnership

Locally the vaccination programme is being run by the Sussex Health and Care Partnership. You can find out more about unpaid carers vaccinations here.

Or you can contact the Sussex Health and Care Partnership by email: sxccg.vaccineenquiries@nhs.net or phone: 0800 433 4545 (Monday to Friday 9.30 am – 4pm). Please note that they cannot book vaccination appointments for you.

Local Carer Organisations in Sussex

Further 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.

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