Get vaccinated to keep loved ones safe

Carers urged to have Covid-19 and flu jabs

Do you care for a loved one who is vulnerable to flu or Covid-19?  Would the person you care for be at risk if you were unwell?  If so, and you are aged over 16, you are eligible for free seasonal flu and Autumn booster Covid-19 vaccinations.

As a carer, whether paid or unpaid, you’re more likely to be exposed to the flu and Covid-19 viruses.

If you care for someone who may be at greater risk, it’s easy to pass these viruses on without knowing.

NHS Devon’s Deputy Chief Nurse, Susan Masters said: “Both flu and Covid-19 can be life-threatening and increases the risk of serious illness to you and the person, or people, you care for.

“The risk is particularly high during winter, when viruses circulate most, so it is better to get protection as early as you can.”

Bernice, an unpaid carer from Plymouth, is urging others to have their vaccinations and booster. 

She’s described her experience and why she feels all carers should get vaccinated in this short film

Bernice said: “My husband relies on me 90% of the time, I would urge everyone who is a carer to please go and have the booster. It is very important.  We should try and do everything we can to stay alive and stay protected.”

The flu and Covid-19 vaccines are the best protection against these potentially life-threatening viruses for carers and the people they care for.

Susan added: “If your GP knows about your caring responsibilities, you will receive an invitation directly from them, but you can also book yourself an appointment on the National Booking Service, or by calling 119 if you don’t have access to the internet.  You can also find your nearest walk-in Covid vaccination clinic and pharmacies offering the flu jab online. You do not need to bring any form of ID or proof of your caring responsibilities.

“If you haven’t already, please let your GP know you are a carer, this will help us to ensure you know about other vaccinations and support you are eligible for.”

For anyone struggling locally to book an appointment or find a vaccination centre close to them, help and support is available from the Devon Vaccine Support Team by emailing d-icb.devonvaccinationsupport@nhs.net or calling 01752 398836

At some vaccination centres, the flu vaccine may be offered at the same time, but if not, you can get this at your GP practice or community pharmacy another time – it’s better to get what you need as soon as you can rather than waiting to have both at the same time.

The Exeter Daily