Flu vaccination for unpaid carers
Unpaid carers are one of the target groups for the flu vaccination.
The reason for this, is that many people who rely on an unpaid carer would not be able to cope if their carer caught the flu and was too ill to look after them. There is also the risk that if the carer is not vaccinated then they could risk passing the virus on to the person that they care for, which could lead to them becoming seriously ill.
Last year nearly 300 people in Shetland were identified as being eligible for the flu vaccine specifically because they were carers and just over half received the vaccine. As a carer you should be invited to attend a clinic for the flu vaccination. If you have not received an invite then this maybe because you are not recognised as a carer by your GP practice notes, you are welcome to contact your practice and ask about having the vaccine. It would also be useful to ensure that your notes are updated so that in the future you will be flagged as a carer and are called automatically.
Shetland has always had the one of the highest uptake of flu vaccination amongst unpaid carers amongst the Scottish Health Boards. From looking at the figures, our NHS service also tends to have all the carers who are going to have the vaccine, vaccinated earlier in the season than a lot of the other Boards. Here at Shetland Carers we would like to ensure that this continues to be the case so if you are an unpaid carer please make sure you consider having the flu vaccination.