Agency carers should be vaccinated as key workers. They are eligible for the vaccine now as LEVEL 2.
Independently employed carers/PAs are also eligible for the vaccine in LEVEL 2. The process for assessing eligibility and ensuring that these people are vaccinated has not been established yet.
- In England, vaccine appointments can be booked online here on the NHS website >>
- There is a vaccine helpline and booking service available in Scotland by calling 0800 030 8013
- Carers can book vaccination appointments by phone in Northern Ireland: 0300 200 7813
- People can also contact the GP they are registered with to book a vaccination appointment if they are in one of the priority groups.
Receiving a vaccine is a choice, and it cannot be forced upon anyone. Some carers may not wish to receive the vaccine, and they cannot be forced to do so by their employer.
Frontline healthcare staff. This includes the following groups:
Staff involved in direct patient care
This includes staff who have frequent face-to-face clinical contact with patients and who are directly involved in patient care in either secondary or primary care/community settings.
This includes doctors, dentists, midwives and nurses, paramedics and ambulance drivers, pharmacists, optometrists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and radiographers. It should also include those working in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings such as hospices, and community-based mental health or addiction services.
Temporary staff, including those working in the COVID-19 vaccination programme, students, trainees and volunteers who are working with patients must also be included.
Until there is guidance which spells this out more clearly for GPs and a mechanism for them to bring independently employed carers into the process, it may help for families to provide their carers with an official letter stating that they are employed as a carer for someone who has underlying health conditions or who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and are therefore eligible for the vaccine.