Informal carers urged to get winter vaccines
The Public Health Agency (PHA) is calling on informal carers to come forward for vaccination against flu and COVID-19 ahead of the winter.
For carers, getting vaccinated gives better protection against severe illness and hospitalisation, meaning that they are better able to continue providing the vital care that is required of them over the winter.
Dr Brid Farrell, Deputy Director of Public Health at the PHA, is urging carers to get ready for winter by taking up the offer of free vaccination.
“Eligible at-risk people know the importance of getting their winter vaccinations to help protect themselves, but we must not forget the informal carers who care for them. It is every bit as important that they too get their winter vaccinations.”
Carers are people who provide help and support to a family member or a friend who may not be able to manage without this help because of frailty, illness or disability. Carers can be adults caring for other adults, parents caring for children who are ill or have a disability, or young people who care for another family member.
Dr Farrell continued: “Informal carers play a crucial role in supporting our healthcare system by caring for their family member or friend. It’s vital that they take steps to protect themselves from illness, meaning that they are better able to continue providing the care that is required of them over the winter, as well as reducing the risk to their friend or family member.
“Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent or reduce the impact of infectious diseases as they teach our immune system how to recognise and fight viruses. Being vaccinated against both viruses will not only help to protect you and those around you from flu and COVID-19.”
Vaccination for carers is available through GPs, pharmacies and trust clinics. Find out more at www.nidirect.gov.uk/wintervaccines