1. Are unpaid carers a priority for the vaccine? Where am I on the priority list?
Yes, unpaid adult carers aged under 65 and young carers aged 16 or 17 are included in group 6 on the priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. Unpaid carers aged 65 and over will be offered the vaccine earlier as they are included in groups 2-5 which cover the whole population aged 65 and above.
The priority list has been guided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which provides independent scientific advice on immunisation to all UK Health Departments, including on the efficacy and safety of vaccines and priority groups to be vaccinated. The table below details the priority groups.
2. When will I get the vaccine?
Everyone in the priority list will be offered the vaccine as soon as possible. Exact timing for each group will depend on supplies arriving. It is the Scottish Government’s intention to cover the full priority list by Spring 2021, as vaccine supply allows.
The Scottish Government, national and local carer organisations will provide further information on timing for unpaid carers under 65 (priority group 6) when available.
I am a carer over 65, when will I get the vaccine?
Unpaid carers aged 65 and over will be offered the vaccination earlier as part of the rollout to groups 2-5.
3. What do you mean by unpaid carer? Who is included in the definition?
The priority list group 6 covers all adult unpaid carers. This means that anyone aged 16 and over who provides, or intends to provide, care to someone else will be eligible to receive the vaccination in group 6.
Am I included even though I don’t get Carers Allowance?
Yes, you do not need to be in receipt of Carers Allowance to be in priority group 6.
Am I included as a parent carer?
Yes, parent carers are included in priority group 6.
Am I included even though I’m not registered as a carer with my GP?
Yes, you do not have to be registered as a carer with your GP to be included in priority group 6.
If there is more than one person providing care to the same person, can we each get the vaccine?
Yes, multiple carers for the same person can receive the vaccination in group 6.
4. How will you let carers know when it is their turn to get the vaccine?
The Scottish Government will write out to as many unpaid carers as possible to inform them that they are eligible and provide them with details of how to book their appointment. They are aware that not all unpaid carers will receive this letter. To ensure carers who don’t receive the letter are informed, the Scottish Government will work with organisations such as national and local carer organisations, including local carer centres and condition specific charities to ensure that information is made available.
You may wish to register with your local carers centre if you have not done already to ensure you receive this information. You can find your local carer centre here.
Do I need to do anything in advance, like let my G.P know I am a carer?
You do not need to be registered as a carer with your GP to receive the vaccination in priority group 6. You may wish to tell them about your caring role the next time you speak with them to ensure they are aware of this but please do not make an appointment especially for this.
Should I register with my local carers centre?
We encourage all carers to get in touch with their local carers centre to find out what support is available to you. Although you do not need to do this to receive the vaccination in priority group 6, being registered with your local service will ensure you receive information and further details about getting the vaccine as soon as possible.
5. What about young carers who are 16 or 17, can they get the vaccine?
Yes, unpaid carers who are 16 or 17 on 31 March 2021 will be offered the vaccine.
6. Is the vaccine safe?
Are there people who shouldn’t get the vaccine?
Information about people who shouldn’t get the vaccine can be found on the NHS Inform coronavirus vaccine web-page.
Which vaccine will I get?
NHS Scotland will only use a vaccine if it meets the required standards of safety and effectiveness. Further information can be found on the NHS Inform coronavirus vaccine web-page.
7. Where can I go for further information?
There is further information on unpaid carers and the COVID-19 vaccination on the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 advice for unpaid carers web-page.
For further information, see the NHS Inform coronavirus vaccine web-page. If you have any enquiries about the COVID-19 vaccine, you can contact the Coronavirus Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 (available 8am – 8pm all week).
Is there a helpline I can phone?
Yes, the Coronavirus Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 is available 8am – 8pm all week.
Is there accessible information I can access?
Yes, all leaflets will be available in accessible formats and languages. Please call the helpline for further information.