A BRADFORD charity is urging unpaid carers to let their GP know, so they can be called upon for a Covid vaccine.

According to a recent Carers UK study, 4.5 million people have taken on a caring responsibility as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In December the government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) revised its recommendations to include unpaid carers. It now recommends that unpaid carers, who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, or those who get Carers’ Allowance, should be prioritised alongside people with underlying health conditions.

This means that unpaid carers are now in priority group 6 (adults aged 16 to 65 in an at-risk group).

Carers’ Resource, based in Shipley, says the increase in Covid-19 infection rates, due to new strains of the virus and the extended national lockdown, will have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of carers.

Says a spokesman: “Carers continue to support loved ones who have existing longterm conditions. There are also those that are new to caring due to the pandemic, and unpaid carers who care for those who have contracted the virus and have longterm complications. Carers are now being urged to let their GP know that they are a carer so that they can be called for the vaccine when it is their turn.”

Chris Whiley, chief executive at Carers’ Resource, said “Our advice is to ask your GP to add your caring responsibilities to your medical record as soon as possible.

“With the person you care for, you should also ask them, or the practice they are registered with, to add your name and contact details to their record too.

“It’s a good idea to register as a carer with your GP as it will mean they can identify you for health checks and a flu jab and help your GP make reasonable adjustments for the person you care for if needed.”

Carers’ Resource provides support, information and advice to unpaid carers, the people they care for and to professional carers across the district. The charity, which had its 25th anniversary last year, supports 16,000 unpaid carers through one-to-one support, casework, information, support groups, employment and training advice, planning for emergencies, and maintaining wellbeing.

* Call the Carers’ Resource Advice Line 0808 509 5139 or go to carersresource.org