Coronavirus vaccine bus to visit communities with low jab uptake rates
- Credit: NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG
A mobile coronavirus vaccination bus has been dispatched to visit the Suffolk communities where jab uptake is lower than the rest of the county.
The modified vehicle is set to tour east Suffolk for at least four months and will visit people from minority ethnic communities, those with certain disabilities and others who are vulnerable due to poor access to vaccination centres.
As well as making physical access easier, the clinicians on board will answer patients' questions and reassure anyone who has concerns about the vaccine.
The bus will start its tour of the region by visiting mosques, synagogues, international churches and sites in Ipswich town centre.
Appointments will be made by invitation, with some time slots kept free for open appointments and the opportunity to talk with clinicians.
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Ipswich Buses has provided the vehicle to the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is overseeing the vaccine rollout, free of charge.
Two Ipswich doctors' surgeries, Two Rivers Medical Centre and Barrack and Ivry Street, are supporting the facility as it rolls the vaccine out across the county.
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Louise Hardwick, head of partnerships and alliance delivery at Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, said: "We are extremely grateful to Ipswich Buses for their generosity and the way they have worked with us so enthusiastically to transform the bus into a self-contained, clean and safe location for vaccinations to take place.
"We can now be more reactive and target vaccinations in areas of the highest need as we move down the clinical groups.
"This will enable us to vaccinate the whole population more quickly, which will be instrumental in improving outcomes from Covid."
Ipswich Buses general manager Steve Bryce added: "Ipswich Buses is delighted to be involved with this project to deliver Covid vaccinations to people in communities that might struggle otherwise to get to the fixed vaccination centres or might just need a little extra support when having their injection.
"Delivering the vaccination programme is key to returning back to some sort of normality so we felt we needed to help and give something back to the communities that support and depend upon our bus services."