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Unpaid carers - Am I eligible?

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Update 13/04/21: We have now vaccinated the majority of unpaid carers in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. However, if you think you fall into this category and have not yet been called for your first dose, please email 

Who decides?

To get the vaccination as an unpaid carer in Wales you must meet the national guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and all three factors under Welsh Government guidance.

Skip straight to the FAQs.

What does the JCVI say?

Revised national guidance from the JCVI (sometimes called the Green Book definition) describes unpaid carers as:

Those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.

Those clinically vulnerable to COVID include children with severe neuro-disabilities, those who are designated Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV), adults who have underlying health conditions and those who need care because of advanced age. Eligible carers should be vaccinated in priority group 6.

What does the Welsh Government guidance say?

The aim of this Welsh Government guidance is to provide clarity and consistency and ensure we vaccinate those unpaid carers that will have the greatest impact on preventing deaths. Due to the large numbers of unpaid carers across Wales (estimates vary but are often in excess of 400,000) and the importance of vaccinating those at the highest risk, we cannot vaccinate everyone who provides care for a friend or family member. This is not to devalue the significant caring role undertaken by so many, rather it is to maintain the clear focus of the vaccination programme on preventing deaths and protecting our vital health and social care systems.

Many unpaid carers will receive an earlier vaccination depending on their age. Unpaid carers aged 50 years and over, who are not prioritised for vaccination as an unpaid carer, will nevertheless be offered the vaccine in priority groupings 7-9. Our aim is to offer vaccination to all those in these priority groups by the middle of April 2021.

In deciding which unpaid carers should be prioritised for vaccination, there are three important factors to consider: 

  1. The vulnerability of the person being cared for:

  • is 65 years old and over (group 5)
  • is deemed extremely clinically vulnerable (group 4)
  • has a defined underlying health condition including mental illness (qualifying as group 6)
  • is a child under 16 with complex medical needs/ severe neuro-disabilities 
  1. The nature of the care provided to those 16 and over:
  • includes, but is not restricted to, helping with eating, bathing, shaving, managing continence, dressing and walking. It may include intervening in challenging or risky behaviour. It may include providing significant levels of support and supervision at home or in the community and where social distancing is not possible

The nature of the care provided to children under 16 with complex medical needs/ severe neuro-disabilities:

  • is beyond the care and support parents ordinarily provide for a child. It is likely to include tasks like tracheostomy tube care, airway suction, repositioning to manage pressure areas and care interventions such as respiratory physiotherapy. It may include intensive personal care such as daily washing and continence care and /or managing behaviours that challenge.
  1. The unpaid carer is the sole or primary carer:
  • we recognise that caring for some people may require two people to assist with such tasks as positioning, hoisting, bathing and changing. There may be arrangements whereby two people evenly divide the caring responsibilities. In such instances, both unpaid carers may be considered as the primary carers

To be prioritised for vaccination, an unpaid carer should satisfy all three factors.

The criteria and guidance for vaccination of unpaid carers in group 6 can be found on this Welsh Government website page along with a downloadable PDF version.

I'm still not sure. What do I do?

Check out our FAQs below.



Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth a galwadau ffôn yn y Gymraeg neu'r Saesneg. Atebir gohebiaeth Gymraeg yn y Gymraeg, ac ni fydd hyn yn arwain at oedi. Mae’r dudalen hon ar gael yn Gymraeg drwy bwyso’r botwm ar y dde ar frig y dudalen.

We welcome correspondence and telephone calls in Welsh or English. Welsh language correspondence will be replied to in Welsh, and this will not lead to a delay. This page is available in Welsh by clicking ‘Cymraeg’ at the top right of this page.