UNPAID carers in Shropshire will be able to receive a vaccine without prior invitation, Shropshire Council has announced.

The move was announced on Tuesday, meaning that unpaid carers aged from 18-64 can book a vaccination appointment via the national booking system.

A council spokesman said that those who qualify need to look at the criteria for applying for the vaccine.

They said: "To be eligible, they need to be in receipt of carer’s allowance – carers aged 18 to 64 who do not receive carer's allowance and are not already registered with their council’s Carers Support Centre, should do so.

"They will then be contacted to book an appointment at a local centre.

"Carers aged 16 or 17 are not eligible to book via the national booking system. If these young carers are not already registered with their council’s Carers Support Centre they should do this and be supported to book their vaccination.

"Carers aged 65 and over can already book on the national system, providing they have already received a letter inviting them to do so. Invitations to all over 65s to book appointments have been issued since mid-February.

"Carers are defined as those caring for an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and are therefore clinically vulnerable, including children with severe neuro-disabilities; those designated Clinically Extremely vulnerable (CEV); adults who have underlying health conditions and those who need care because of advanced age."

Some carers will be invited by their own GP, if registered, and may choose to receive their vaccination via this route.

Carers can book online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 free of charge, between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week

If you live in Shropshire your Carer Support Centre (Shropshire Council) can be contacted on 01743 341995 or by email at Shropshire.Carers@shropshire.gov.uk