Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, is joining a number of colleagues in calling on the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid to recognise the role of unpaid carers and confirm they will be prioritised for booster vaccines this Autumn.
This spring, the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation recognised that unpaid carers should receive the vaccine as a priority, along with those working age adults with underlying health conditions. The decision was made to ensure that carers were able to continue providing vital unpaid care, and to prevent them from infecting those they care for.
However, the interim JCVI advice recently published makes no mention of unpaid carers, and no confirmation of their prioritisation for booster jabs in Autumn has been given. As a result, over 50 MPs have signed an open letter organised by Barbara Keeley (MP for Worsley and Eccles South) calling on the Government to issue urgent clarification.
The letter states that failure to prioritise unpaid carers would “risk giving the impression that the Government neither understands nor values the immense contribution” of unpaid carers. It calls for a “prompt response” and clarification from Sajid Javid.
Speaking after signing the letter, Andrew Gwynne said:
‘’Unpaid carers are incredible, and their vital role in the response to the pandemic has all too often been overlooked.
It’s so important that we receive confirmation from the Government that unpaid carers will be given priority for any potential booster jabs in August. This is to ensure that they can continue to provide vital unpaid care, and don’t infect those that they look after.
We can’t afford a delay on this, we need confirmation from the Health Secretary urgently.’’
To read the open letter in full click here.