COVID-19 Vaccinations

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

The formal advice received from Welsh Government is as follows:

Wales, in line with the other UK nations, is vaccinating people who are most at-risk of catching coronavirus and developing serious illnesses first, as recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).  They have recommended the vaccine be offered to in the first instance to care home residents and health and social care workers, alongside people aged 80 and over.  More information on how they reached their conclusions and details on at-risk groups (including those who have been shielding and/or have underlying health conditions) can be found at this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi-2-december-2020

 

The JCVI advice says that unpaid carers should receive the vaccine at the same time as the adults under 65 years with long term conditions, the vaccine will also be offered to adults who provide regular care for an elderly or disabled person.  Health Boards will contact eligible individuals according to the criteria and invite them to attend a mass vaccination centre – an information sheet will also be provided along with details on time, date and venue.  Individuals should await their invitation to attend a mass vaccination centre, consider the information provided and, if they want the vaccination and consent to it, they should go to the centre as outlined on the invitation.

This priority list is as follows:

 

1.      Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

2.      All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers

3.      All those 75 years of age and over

4.      All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

5.      All those 65 years of age and over

6.      All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality    

7.      All those 60 years of age and over

8.      All those 55 years of age and over

9.      All those 50 years of age and over

 

It is estimated that taken together, these groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from COVID-19.

Young Carers and Young Adult Carers

Welsh Government have encouraged us to highlight that young and young adult carers should be receiving the vaccination alongside the relative or friend who they care for.  There is an expectation from Welsh Government that this would largely happen for carers who are caring for people in priority group 6 – however we are waiting to see the precise wording around this in updated guidance from Welsh Government which we hope will be published in the next few days. 

Carers of people with learning disabilities

Below are some specific examples shared by our colleagues at All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers of People with Learning Disabilities. 

 

‘The latest guidance now specifies that people with a learning disability and a clinical vulnerability (for example, those shielding/Down’s syndrome) who are 16 and over will be called for the vaccine in priority group 4, with the over 70s.

 

The remaining learning disability population who may not be as likely to catch COVID-19, but if they do, may be more likely to be sicker with it – have been put under the ‘other at-risk groups in the population’ category – which is group 6, with the over 50s.

Scenario 1

If a carer is 55 and looking after a child with a clinical vulnerability (such as downs syndrome or other medical condition in the shielding list), they should be vaccinated at the same time as the person they care for – as their relative is in priority group 4, and the carer would be in group 6 due to their age. So, in this case they would get the vaccine ahead of others in the carer age group bracket.

Scenario 2

But, if the carer were 75 and over and looking after a child with clinical vulnerabilities, they would get called for the vaccine due to their age, not because they are a carer, and it is highly likely they would get called first as a result. So, the carer would then get the vaccine first before the cared for, due to age.


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