Get the vaccine: 16-24-year-old carers urged to protect themselves and those they care for

16th July 2021

Carers have faced unprecedented pressures during the Covid-19 pandemic, and Sandwell Council is urging those aged between 16 and 24 years, who care for a disabled or ill family member, to take up the opportunity to get vaccinated.

 

Young carers’ roles and responsibilities have increased, and their difficulties have been amplified, during the pandemic, and some young people may have undertaken caring activities for the first time, due to the effects of Covid-19 and long Covid.

 

A recent study by the University of East Anglia (https://www.uea.ac.uk/news/-/article/study-reveals-impact-of-covid-19-on-young-carers) highlights the some of the effects of Covid-19 on young carers:

  • increased caring loads
  • lack of breaks
  • no time for coping strategies (eg time with friends, going to school, pursuing hobbies)
  • loss of routine.

 

Carers, including young carers (aged 16-17 years) and young adult carers (aged 18-24 years), are included in the government’s Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation vaccination programme.

 

Dr Lisa McNally, Director of Public Health for Sandwell Council, said: “Covid-19 has affected us all, but young carers especially need our support, as the virus’ impact on the physical and mental health of those they look after has also increased their caring burden.

 

“I would encourage young carers to take up the opportunity to get their vaccines, and protect themselves and those they care for. Young carers will be more crucial than ever as we emerge out of the pandemic, and access to the vaccine will help keep them and the cared for safe.

 

“It is beneficial for all young carers and young adult carers to inform their GP surgeries that they have a caring role, and health services should recognise what young carers do, what they need, and acknowledge how young and vulnerable they can be.

 

“We are lucky in Sandwell to have the great team at Sandwell Young Carers providing the support and advice. I know how highly valued their work is by young carers, their families and the wider community.”

 

Sandwell Young Carers is a registered charity offering activities and support to children and young people aged 5-18 years whose lives are affected as a result of caring for a disabled or ill family member.

 

Sandwell Young Carers have been working in partnership with local GPs to ensure young carers and young adult carers are prioritised for Covid-19 vaccines.

 

A Sandwell Young Carers Support Service Manager said: “Young carers’ caring roles have increased, with little or no respite, during the pandemic. At Sandwell Young Carers we continue to provide guidance and support to young carers during this difficult time, and would recommend those who are aged between 16-24 years of age to get their vaccinations. This will protect them and those they care for.”

 

If you would like to know more about vaccinations for young carers and/or Sandwell Young Carers’ services, please visit https://www.sandwellyc.com/ call 07802 492 341 or email rajinder.sunnerd@sandwellyc.org.uk

Published: 16th July 2021