Unpaid carers urged to come forward to book coronavirus vaccine

As the coronavirus vaccine continues to be rolled out across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire at a rapid pace, more and more local people are being encouraged to book the all-important vaccination appointment.

All adult carers in receipt of a DWP Carers Allowance, or registered with their GP as a carer, can now book through the national booking service to receive the vaccine, instead of waiting to be contacted.

Carers under the age of 18 are not currently able to book a vaccine appointment using the national booking system, and are advised to wait to be contacted by their GP.

Vaccine appointments can be booked online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccine or over the phone by calling 119.

Carers using the national booking system will be able to choose to receive the vaccine from the large vaccination centres at Salisbury City Hall and Bath Racecourse, or from one of three local pharmacies currently offering a vaccination service.

These pharmacies are Avicenna Pharmacy in Swindon, Shaunaks Pharmacy in Westbury and the Pharmacy in Ludgershall.

Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “Carers provide an invaluable service to so many of our most vulnerable residents, and it is vitally important that we do what we can to ensure these unsung heroes are protected as quickly as possible.

“I know that many carers have been anxious at having to wait to be contacted about having the vaccine, so I hope this announcement brings some comfort and relief to those who do so much for others.

“It’s fantastic that we are in a position to open up the vaccination programme to more and more people, and I would like to provide reassurance to people outside of the priority groups currently being vaccinated that we are in this for the long haul and will get to you as soon as we possibly can.”

The announcement around carers comes a week after it was revealed that all people in the top four priority groups across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire had been offered their first coronavirus vaccine dose.

Official figures from NHS England show that as of Thursday 18 February, more than 223,000 vaccinations have happened in the BSW region, including around 138,000 vaccines which have been given to people over the age of 70.

Any person aged over 70, as well as health and social care workers and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, who have yet to receive the vaccine can also book an appointment using the national booking system.

Further information on the local rollout of the coronavirus vaccine can be found online at www.bswicb.nhs.uk.

Information on the vaccine itself can also be found at either www.gov.uk or www.nhs.uk.