Coronavirus Vaccine

Are you struggling to get a Covid-19 vaccination or need help to attend an appointment?

Then give us a call on 0118 966 2518 during office hours or leave a message on our out-of-hours answerphone.

If you are a family carer of someone with a learning disability, who lives in Reading, we can help you with all of the following difficulties and more:

  • You still haven’t got your appointment
  • Your cared for relative with a learning disability still hasn’t got their appointment
  • Can’t get your appointment at the same time as your cared for person and can’t get anyone to look after them.
  • You have an appointment for your cared for person but not for yourself
  • You can’t get transport to get yourself and your cared for person to your appointment
  • Your cared for person is needle phobic and doesn’t want to go to the appointment

We will do our best to help you or find someone who can. 

Just call us or email familysupport-kate@readingmencap.org.uk

 

If you're aged 40 or over, or if you turn 40 before 1 July 2021, you can now book your COVID-19 vaccine on the NHS website.
 
The vaccine is currently being given to:

  • people aged 40 and over
  • people who will turn 40 before 1 July 2021
  • people at high risk from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • people who live or work in care homes
  • health and social care workers
  • people with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • people with a learning disability

 

If you have a learning disability

The NHS is encouraging everyone who is in a priority group - including people with a learning disability - to book an appointment now.

You no longer have to wait for your GP to invite you for a vaccine.

If you are on the Learning Disability Register and you have not been offered your first dose:

  • get in touch with your GP surgery, or
  • phone the NHS on 119.

 

How to ask for extra support

Don’t forget, you can ask for extra help when you have your vaccine. 

Easy read guide to how to ask for extra support - reasonable adjustments - when getting your vaccine.

 

Handy tips if you still haven’t got your vaccination appointment:

If you are the main family carer for your relative with learning disability, contact your GP surgery and ask to be flagged up as an unpaid carer on your patient record

If you are caring for someone with a learning disability and they haven’t had their appointment yet contact their GP surgery and ask for them to be put on the GP’s Learning Disability register.

Common question: How do I know if an adult with a learning disability is on the learning disability register so that they can be prioritised for the coronavirus vaccine?

Answer: If they are invited by their GP to a health check every year. If this is the case you will not need to contact the GP as the individual should already be on the register. If the individual is not invited to a health check every year, it may be the case that they are not on the Learning Disability register. In this case you should contact their GP to check and action accordingly.

 

A woman who is receiving a vaccination is giving the thumbs-up

 

 

Everyone with a learning disability can now have the Covid-19 vaccine

All people with a learning disability can now have the vaccine. You need to be on your GP's Learning Disability register. This is a list your GP keeps. Check if you are on your GP's Learning Disability Register. If you are not on it ask your GP to add you or speak to someone you trust. Don't miss out.

Call us on 0118 966 2518 or email office@readingmencap.org.uk if you need support to access your vaccine.

Being on the register has many benefits and entitles people to annual health checks and prioritisation for future vaccinations, as well as allowing them to get the Covid vaccine and be confident they are protected.

The news comes after months of campaigning by learning disability charities such as Mencap and Learning Disability England for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to urgently prioritise all people with a learning disability for the vaccine.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.

Easy read guide to the Coronavirus vaccine

Easy read guide to the Learning Disability Register

Easy read letter to joining the Learning Disability Register

Everyone with a learning disability can now have the Covid-19 vaccine. You need to be on the Learning Disability Register. This is a list your GP keeps. If you are not on the register ask your GP to add you or talk to someone you trust.

 

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine - updated February 2021

Coronavirus Who gets it first. Updated version Feb 2021

Important news: 15 February 2021

 

Surgeries across Reading are delivering vaccines on various dates, leading to differences in when your surgery will call people in.
The Government has been encouraging people in the top four priority groups - comprising people aged 70 and over, front-line health and social care workers, care home residents and the clinically extremely vulnerable to get vaccinated.

If you are aged 70 or over or are clinically extremely vulnerable (this includes adults with Down’s syndrome) and have not yet had a jab you can now contact the NHS directly.

The easiest way to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service which can be accessed at
www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. The system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge.

The over-50s and people with underlying health conditions are due to be vaccinated by May.

People with underlying health conditions

There is good evidence that certain underlying health conditions increase the risk from COVID-19. Included in the risk groups are people with:

  • Down’s syndrome
  • severe and profound learning disability.

People in these groups are priority number 6.

 

Priority for unpaid family carers

Unpaid family carers are in priority group 6 for getting the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes carers under the age of 65 and young carers aged 16 and 17.

The Government’s vaccine committee has recommended that unpaid carers who receive Carer’s Allowance or who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled child or adult whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill should be prioritised alongside people with underlying health conditions.

Unpaid carers over the age of 65 will be able to access the vaccine earlier as they are included in earlier priority groups.

 

What can you do as a carer? 

Reading Carers' Card

1. Apply for your free Reading Carers' Card. This card identifies you as an unpaid family carer. It's easy to apply, we just need a head and shoulders selfie of yourself. Email communications@readingmencap.org.uk 

2. Make sure your GP knows you are a family carer. Visit your surgery website to see if you can inform them online.

3. Check if you are eligible for Carer's Allowance.

Hundreds of thousands of people caring for friends or relatives are missing out on their Carer’s Allowance entitlements.

The benefit is worth £67.25 a week, meaning some carers are losing out on as much as £3,497 a year. In 2018, almost £1.3 billion was unclaimed.

You are entitled to Carer's Allowance if:

  • You care for 35 hours a week or more
  • You do not earn more than £128 a week
  • The person you care for receives Attendance Allowance, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) middle or highest rate care component or Armed Forces Independence Payment.

If you get State Pension

  • You cannot get the full amount of both Carer’s Allowance and your State Pension at the same time.
  • If your pension is £67.25 a week or more, you will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment.
  • If your pension is less than £67.25 a week, you’ll get a Carer’s Allowance payment to make up the difference.

 

How the COVID-19 vaccine is given

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.

It's given as 2 doses. You will have the 2nd dose 3 to 12 weeks after having the 1st dose.

 

Watch out for scams

A false NHS text message has been circulating requesting that you click on a link to apply for a vaccine.

It then takes you through to a false NHS website platform requesting more information. For further details on how to spot this, see this helpful link from Which: https://conversation.which.co.uk/scams/scam-nhs-covid-vaccine-text-message/. We would also urge you to spread the word among friends and family.

Cold calls regarding the vaccine are also beginning to take place – Which has already had reports of scammers asking people to pay for it over the phone.

The NHS will not ask you to pay for the vaccine.

 Protect yourself and others by getting the Covid-19 vaccine when it is your turn