Booster clarification needed for Carers, says Armstrong

Kellie Armstrong, Alliance MLA for Strangford, has called on the Minister for Health to clarify if Carers can receive their COVID vaccine booster in phase one of the roll out.

In September Kellie had written to the Minister to ask if unpaid Carers would be able to get their booster at the same time as the people they care for. The Minister confirmed this was indeed the case. However, when Health Department graphics appeared on social media, Carers were left off the list.

Kellie said: “Carers are fed up with mixed messaging. In September the Minister confirmed boosters would be available for people in groups 1-9 in phase one. Adult Carers are clearly included. Yet now Carers are not listed in the Department’s public communications on boosters. If Carers can get their booster, then call them to come forward to get their booster.

“Carers have faced far too many disappointments. In January the Minister announced a Carers Covid Payment, but by late spring admitted he could not make any payment to Carers. Exhausted Carers were disappointed again when respite and day centre care remained limited even though pubs and nightclubs were able to fully reopen.

“It’s time Carers and Caring was made more visible. This is why I have started a petition calling for a National Register of Carers in Northern Ireland. By having a National register it means government will be able to identify Carers and the thousands of Carers will at last be formally recognised as a clear cohort of people. Carers are a significant group of people whose voices are not being listened to and who are persistently being left out. This has to stop.”

You can sign the petition here