Unpaid carers will now be included in the autumn vaccine booster programme for COVID-19 as well as the annual flu campaign where they are eligible for a free jab. Find out more from Carers UK here.

To book your first, second or booster vaccine, you can book through the National Booking System either online or by calling 119.

If you test positive for Covid-19, you are not be legally required to self-isolate. Stay at home if you can and avoid contact with other people. You will not have to take daily tests or be legally required to self-isolate following contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. We understand this is a worrying time for you as a carer but there are still steps you can take to help protect yourself and others:
  • Get vaccinated and get your booster dose
  • Consider wearing a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces
  • Let fresh air in if you meet indoors, or meet outside
  • Get tested if you have symptoms and stay at home if positive

Testing Guidance

Free lateral flow tests are now no longer available except to those eligible. Those who are eligible for free tests include:

  • Patients in hospital
  • People who are being admitted to hospital for surgery or a procedure
  • People who have a health condition which means they are eligible for Covid-19 treatments
  • Staff and residents in homecare organisations, supported living services and care homes
  • People who work in the adult social care sector such as a Personal Assistant, a Shared Lives Carer, a CQC Inspector or a Social Worker
  • NHS workers

If you are eligible, you can order free tests here.

If you are not eligible for free tests you can buy lateral flow test kits from Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy, Morrisons, Tesco and Superdrug. Find out more here.

Please be aware that government guidance regarding Covid-19 and those who are eligible for free lateral flow tests are subject to change. You can also visit the government website for the latest information.

Face Coverings

Face coverings are still required in health and care settings, including hospitals, GP surgeries and pharmacies.


5 to 11-year-olds who are in a clinical risk group or live with someone who is immunosuppressed are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Parents and guardians should wait to be contacted. Click here for more details.

If you or the person you care for is registered with a GP practice in Manchester, you can book your booster vaccination by calling the Gateway on 0800 092 4020 or 0161 947 0770.

The Gateway are also able to book a free taxi to and from the vaccination appointment if you have difficulty getting to a site. The phone line is open Monday – Friday from 8am to 6pm, excluding bank holidays.

You can also book an appointment for a booster at a local vaccination site, a mass vaccination site (the Etihad Stadium) or a community pharmacy site by calling 119 (interpreters available on request) or by booking online.

For those people who use British Sign Language you can also book an appointment online here.

Using your computer and webcam, or the SignVideo app on your smartphone or tablet, you make a video call to a BSL interpreter. The interpreter telephones an NHS 119 operative and relays your conversation with them.

If you prefer to walk in without making an appointment, there are several walk in vaccination clinics right across the city. You can find details of local walk-in sites on the Manchester City Council website here.

Housebound Patients

All people who are unable to leave their house (housebound) should have had their Covid vaccination booster or should have been contacted to discuss a time and date for someone to go and give the vaccination at home.

If this is not the case for you, or someone you care for, please email  mhcc.engagement@nhs.net and someone will be in touch straight away. 

What should I do if I’ve not had my first or second vaccination yet? 

If you’ve not had your first or second vaccination, we’d encourage you to book your vaccination as soon as possible. You can book:

  • Online in the Coronavirus vaccine section of the NHS website here
  • By ringing 119
  • You can also look for other pop up and walk in offers in Manchester here

Can I have the flu vaccine at the same time as the Covid booster? 

You can also access the free flu vaccination as a carer from your GP or local pharmacy. You may be offered your flu vaccination at the same time as your booster or first/second COVID vaccinations this winter.

The flu vaccination is very important this year because more people are likely to get flu this winter. This is because fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during lockdown in the COVID-19 pandemic. If you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill so getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses.

Do I need to let my GP know that I’m a carer? 

Letting your GP know you are a carer is really important. It means that they can identify you easily for offers such as the booster vaccination and flu.

If you haven’t already, please let your GP know you are a carer. Most GP’s have a carers form on their website that is easy to complete and return. Your GP will then put a note on your record so they know you have important caring responsibilities and can contact you easily. This will allow you to do things like be contacted about the booster and flu vaccine directly.

Carers UK have a template letter on their website you can download and print if your GP doesn’t have a carers registration form. Find out more here.

Contact us if you have any questions or need any advice and support around the information about vaccinations, boosters, registering as a carer with your GP or any other issue as a carer.