Free bus and taxi rides to help people get to vaccine clinics

The Colchester taxi driver was threatened at knifepoint in North Station Road on Friday. Picture: SA

Free bus and taxi rides are being offered to get people to vaccination clinics - Credit: Archant

Free bus and taxi rides are being offered to people in Suffolk travelling to their vaccination appointment or to a vaccine drop-in clinic. 

The offer is open to anyone in the county who needs help getting to a clinic for their first, second or booster vaccination and will be in place until December 29. 

Stuart Keeble, director of public health at Suffolk County Council, said: "It's important that we remove any barrier that people may face in getting their booster. 

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

"It's critical that we vaccinate as many people as possible in order to protect ourselves and those around us from severe illness." 

It is hoped the free travel offer will help deliver on the government programme that aims to see everyone over 18 getting their booster vaccine by the new year. 

Both the free bus travel and the Vaxi Taxi offer is open to all.    

Ed Garratt, chief executive of the Suffolk and North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: "It's so important that everyone eligible comes forward for their vaccination. 

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"Through this arrangement we are making it even easier for people to attend their appointment.

"So, if you do not own a vehicle, cannot afford travel costs or live in a rural area which is not served by public transport, please take advantage of this free offer. 

"Please book your booster vaccination appointment through the national booking system or attend one of the many walk-in clinics which are available and please arrange your transport through this scheme."  

Bus travel: Any Suffolk bus can be used for a free return journey. If you have an email or text message vaccination appointment confirmation, show it to the bus driver. For those invited by phone or visiting a drop-in session, tell the driver which vaccination centre you're going to.  

Taxi travel: The Vaxi Taxi scheme is open to everyone aged 12+ and consists of a free return journey to your vaccination appointment. Children will need to be accompanied by a parent or carer during the journey and at the vaccination site. 

Community transport: Contact the Connecting Communities operator where you live. Click on the appropriate council area on the map here for booking information. 

To book a vaccination appointment, visit the NHS website. 

Walk-in appointments are available this weekend:

Friday December 17

Park Pavilion, Harwich between 9am and 4pm

Gainsborough Sports Centre, Ipswich (over 18s and boosters only) between 9am and 6pm

Saturday December 18

Gainsborough Sports Centre, Ipswich (over 18s and boosters only) between 9am and 6pm

Portman House, Portman Rd, Ipswich (over 18s only) between 10am and 1.30pm

Thurston Pharmacy (over 18s only) between 9am and 5pm

Sunday December 19

Woolpit Health Centre (for those aged 12 and above) between 8am and 4pm.