Unpaid Carers (Vaccinations)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 24 March 2021.

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Photo of Stuart McMillan Stuart McMillan Scottish National Party

5. To ask the First Minister how many unpaid carers have been vaccinated to date. (S5F-04925)

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

As of this morning, 85,692 unpaid carers have received a first vaccination dose. As I said earlier, Public Health Scotland will publish new data on that and other aspects of vaccination later this afternoon. I reiterate that the Scottish Government recognises the importance of protecting all who provide care for others. That is why we launched the NHS Inform portal last week, which allows unpaid carers to register to receive the vaccine.

Photo of Stuart McMillan Stuart McMillan Scottish National Party

I thank all unpaid carers, who have helped many people throughout the pandemic—I thank particularly those in my Greenock and Inverclyde constituency but also those across Scotland. Does the First Minister agree that all unpaid carers should register via the self-registration website to ensure that they are vaccinated in priority group 6?

The First Minister:

Yes—I will come back to that in a moment. I echo Stuart McMillan and thank all who have cared for relatives, friends and loved ones through what has been a really difficult 12 months and who continue to care for them. We owe unpaid carers an enormous debt of gratitude at all times, but that is particularly true of their contribution in the past year.

To answer the question, I strongly encourage those who are eligible to register on the NHS Inform portal so that they can have an appointment to receive the vaccine arranged. To support that and ensure awareness, we are running a national marketing campaign via digital channels, the press, radio and other public relations activity, as I said yesterday. That will ensure that everybody is aware of the system. I hope that unpaid carers will take the opportunity to come forward and get vaccinated.