Factsheet – COVID-19 FAQs March 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine – Information for Carers

Frequently Asked Questions Edition Two – March 2021

The Scottish Government and NHS Scotland have launched a self-registration service for he COVID-19 vaccination for eligible unpaid carers who have not already been given an appointment.

This FAQ document is intended to answer some of your questions about eligibility for this service and what you can expect when you self-register.

1. Which unpaid carers are eligible to be prioritised for the COCID-19 vaccination?

You are eligible for vaccination at this stage and should register if all of the following statements apply to you:

    • You are 16-64 years old;
    • You provide face-to-face care and support to one or more family members, friends or neighbours;
    • The care you provide is not part of a contract or voluntary work;
    • If caring for someone under 18, they are affected by a disability, physical or mental ill-health, developmental condition or substance misuse; and
    • You haven’t already received your first COVID-19 vaccination or vaccination appointment letter
    • Am I included if I meet the above criteria, even though I don’t get a Carers Allowance?
      • Yes, you do not need to be in receipt of Carer’s Allowance to now be eligible for priority vaccination as an unpaid carer
    • Am I included if I meet the above criteria, if I and a parent carer?
      • Yes, parent carers looking after a child who needs care due to aa disability or long term health or developmental condition are included in priority group 6
    • Am I included if I meet the above criteria, even though I’m not registered as a carer with my GP?
      • Yes, you do not have to be registered as a carer with your GP to be included in priority group 6
    • If there is more than one person providing care to the same person that both meet the criteria above, can we each get the vaccine?
      • Yes, multiple carers for the same person can now be eligible to receive the vaccination
    • I am a kinship carer who looks after a child with extra support needs due to a disability, long term health or developmental condition. Am I eligible for the vaccine as part of this group?
          • Yes, you would be considered an unpaid carer die to the caring responsibilities you have due to your child’s additional needs.
    • I am a foster carer who cares for a child with extra support needs due to a disability or condition. Am I eligible for the vaccine as part of this group?
      • No. Foster carers provide care as part of their fostering agreement therefore are not considered unpaid carers.
    • What if I do not meet the above criteria?
      • If you do not meet the above criteria (for example, you provide only emotional support by phone/video call), then you will be asked to wait until NHS Scotland contacts you to let you know it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It is important not to contact NHS Scotland for a vaccination before then.

2. Where am I on the priority list?

Unpaid carers aged between 16 and 64 are now eligible to come forward for the COVID-19 vaccine. Unpaid carers aged 65 and over have already been offered the vaccine due to their age.

The priority list has been guided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which provides independent scientific advice on immunisation to all UK Health Departments, including on the efficacy and safety of vaccines and priority groups to be vaccinated.

3. When will I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Many carers will already have received appointment letters for the COVID-19 vaccination, either due to their age, a pre-existing condition, or having been identified as carers through Social Security or GP data. Carers who have not already been identified and given an appointment, who meet the criteria above, will be able to self-register for the vaccination from 8am, Monday 15th March.

4. How do I delf-register as a carer for the COVID-19 vaccination? What can I expect from the process?

A dedicated website found at https://www.nhsinform.scot/carersregister allows those not yet contacted, to register as an unpaid carer for the COVID-19 vaccination.

When registering, you will be asked to confirm that you meet all of the above criteria. You will be asked to provide the following information about yourself to help NHS Scotland identify you:

    • Date of birth
    • Name
    • Address and postcode
    • Gender, as registered with your GP

You will then be asked your contact preferences so that once we have identified you, we can confirm your next steps through email or text.

Please register via the website if you can. For those who cannot self-register online, please call the Covid Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 from 8am on Monday 15th March.

I am trying to self-register but am getting a ‘no match response’ what should I do?

If you are registering online and getting a no-match response, we would suggest trying again, paying close attention to what you are entering. Your full details as registered with your GP are required.

If you continue to get the same response, you can call the helpline from Wednesday 24th March when the call handlers will be able to go through the process on your behalf in more detail. Ideally, if you can have your CHI number to hand which you can find on any GP or hospital correspondence, this will make it easier for call handlers to match your details.

Common matching issues:

If people cannot be matched, this would indicate that some information is being entered incorrectly, and doesn’t match their record at their GP. So, it should be possible for them to be matched if they go back and try again.

There are only five fields:

  • Date of Birth
    • This is done at the start of the form. It’s easy to get numbers mixed up.
  • First Name
    • Using a short name, when a long name is registered with the GP, or vice versa
    • Person known by a middle name all their life, but their first name on GP record
  • Surname
    • Double-barrelled names are causing issues. FOr example, if a person’s name is ‘Abell-Brown’ has this been recorded in that form at the GP, or is it still recorded as ‘Abell’ or ‘Brown’
  • Postcode
    • A number of postcodes have been entered incorrectly. As there is a dropdown address selector to help prevent this, it may be that people have moved and not updated their address at their GP.
  • Gender
    • ‘Prefer not to say’ is a perfectly valid choice, but does reduce the chances of a match

Can I receive the vaccine at home if I am unable to leave home due to caring responsibilities?

People are being asked to do everything they can to attend their appointment at the location they have been given. This includes finding replacement care, where possible. Some home vaccination appointments have been provided in exceptional circumstances however, this option is not being offered as a matter of course.

If you believe you are in exceptional circumstances and will not be able to attend any appointment outwith your home, you will be asked to use the Covid Vaccination Helpline option to self-register and speak with someone about the local options available to you.

Will I be able to bring the person that I care for (or dependent children) to my appointment?

If you are unable to find replacement care for those you care for, or dependent children, you can bring them to your appointment.

5. What happens if I cannot attend the appointment I have been given?

When you self-register as a carer, you will be notified of your vaccination appointment details. Please do everything you can to attend. Within your invitation, you will be given details to reschedule your appointment if you are unable to attend the date or time given or cannot get to your allocated venue.

It is important you get in touch to reschedule, even if this is at short notice. this will ensure vaccine stocks are able to be offered to someone else. You will not be penalised for rescheduling.

6. Is the vaccine safe?

Are there people who shouldn’t get the vaccine?

Information about people who shouldn’t get the vaccine can be found on the NHS Inform coronavirus website.

Which vaccine will I get?

NHS Scotland will only use a vaccine if it meets the required standards of safety and effectiveness. Further information can be found on the NHS Inform coronavirus vaccine website.

I’m worried about side effects from the vaccine, what should I expect and what should I do if I get side effects?

Some people may experience side effects after the vaccine. These are usually mild and are much less serious than developing coronavirus or complications associated with coronavirus. Any side effects usually go away within a few days.

For more information about common side effects and what to do if you are worried about your symptoms, see the NHS Inform side effects webpage.

After you get the vaccine, it’s still important to follow the latest Government guidance.

7. Where can I get further information?

There is further information on unpaid carers and the COVID-19 vaccination on the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 advice for unpaid carers webpage.

For further information, see the NHS Inform coronavirus vaccine webpage. If you have any enquiries about the COVID-19 vaccine, you can contact the Coronavirus vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 (available 8am to 8pm all week).

Is there a helpline I can phone?

Yes, the Coronavirus vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 (available 8am to 8pm all week).

Is there accessible information available?

Yes, all the leaflets will be available in accessible formats and languages. Please call the helpline for further information.

This Frequently Asked Questions briefing paper has been translated into community languages by MECOPP. You can download them via this link  – https://www.mecopp.org.uk/covid19-vaccination-faqs-in-comm-lang


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