Unpaid carers who may not be registered as an unpaid carer with their GP are being asked to come forward by completing a new online self-referral form in order to receive their Covid-19 vaccine as part of priority group 6.
Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething, has published guidance to outline who is eligible for a vaccine as part of priority group 6. Within the guidance eligible unpaid carers are those who are the sole or primary carer of someone who is at increased risk were they to catch coronavirus.
Those clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 include children with severe neuro-disabilities, those who are designated clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), adults who have underlying health conditions and those who need care because of advanced age.
Each local health board will be making the online form available on their websites in the coming days, starting on Monday 8th March. Further details can be found here https://gov.wales/get-covid-19-vaccine-unpaid-carer
People should complete an online form with the health board in which they live or the health board area in which their GP is based.
Once the form is submitted, the health board will arrange for the information to be uploaded to the Welsh Immunisation System (WIS) and a vaccine appointment will be issued.
Everyone within groups 5-9 will be invited for a vaccination by mid-April. Those already registered as an unpaid carer with their GP should receive an invite in the next couple of weeks and do not need to complete the online form.
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, said:
The pandemic has added more challenges to unpaid carers across the country and I want to thank them for everything they are doing.
The guidance issued should give more clarity to those who are in priority group six and I would urge anyone who is eligible and not already registered with their GP to complete the online form. When you are invited for a vaccination I would urge you to accept in order to protect yourself and those you care for.
I want to thank the national care organisations who have assisted us with our guidance and the referral form and helped us to get the process right for our invaluable unpaid carers.
Claire Morgan, Director of Carers Wales, said:
Having put their lives on hold caring for vulnerable people, we know that many unpaid carers will feel relieved to be called for their vaccination. Carers Wales has worked with the Welsh Government on the self-identification process and urges eligible unpaid carers to complete the new online self-referral form as soon as they are able.
Simon Hatch, Director of Carers Trust Wales commented;
We know that unpaid carers have faced many practical, emotional and financial challenges throughout the pandemic. We are pleased that Welsh Government has listened to feedback from carers and from Carers Trust Wales in creating this form. We want to encourage carers in Priority Group six to check the form and, if they are eligible, to receive the vaccine.
Kate Young, Director, All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers said,
This added clarification will be welcomed by so many family carers across Wales, and we are pleased to see the feedback provided by family carers who were concerned about being eligible and receiving the vaccine has led to this form being produced as an additional resource. We encourage unpaid family carers to take a look and to complete the form if they feel they are eligible and may be missed by not being registered.