The vaccination bus is a new initiative, which will go out into communities, to administer jabs to people who are already due to have their vaccine but haven’t been able to attend a vaccination centre.
The Central and West Warrington Primary Care Network (PCN) and NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working alongside Warrington’s Own Buses and Warrington Borough Council to take the coronavirus vaccine out into the community on their double-decker bus.
Anyone who is currently eligible for the vaccine, in line with the national priority groups, can get their first dose on the bus at one of the upcoming sessions.
The bus will only be able to vaccinate people in open cohorts. To be eligible for the vaccine, you must be aged 42 or over, have a pre-existing health condition that means you’re in an at-risk group, or work in health and social care, or as an unpaid carer.
The vaccination bus will be administering first doses of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine to eligible people on a first come first served basis. Please be aware the bus will only have stock of the AZ vaccine, so anyone under 30 who is eligible via one of the currently open cohorts will not be able to be vaccinated.
The bus will be making stops across the borough from Monday 10 May. Details of specific dates and timings and more locations will be released in the coming weeks.
In addition to these sessions, the council is also sourcing local businesses who are seeking help to vaccinate as many of their eligible employees as possible at workplaces across the borough.
Businesses that have staff eligible to be vaccinated but who have not been able to attend a vaccination centre will be considered, so please contact the council’s public health team at email@example.com if you would like the bus to come to vaccinate staff at your workplace.
Warrington GP and Clinical Director of the Central and West Warrington PCN, Dr Laura Mount, said: “This is a fantastic initiative to help make the vaccine more accessible by taking it out into local communities. We’re hoping we will be able to break down any barriers people may have faced after being invited for their jab, by making getting vaccinated more accessible, which in turn will help to address some existing health inequalities in the borough.
“Due to the incredible efforts since the launch of the programme, thousands of people have already received their vaccination in Warrington and I would encourage everyone who is eligible to take up the offer.
“Our amazing team of vaccinators, clinic co-ordinators and volunteers will be on board our new bus, provided by Warrington’s Own Buses, to travel to different locations around the town. If you’re in one of the eligible groups, please keep an eye on the CCG and council websites and social media channels for more information over the next few weeks.”
The project launched last week with the first stop at Warrington’s Own Buses depot off Bridgefoot, to ensure all eligible bus drivers had received their first jab.
Ben Wakerley, Managing Director of Warrington’s Own Buses, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with the NHS on this project to help get as many people as possible vaccinated. It was really helpful that the bus came to us at the depot so that eligible drivers could easily access the vaccine at work.
“It has provided peace of mind that drivers, as key workers who have continued to work throughout the pandemic, have been vaccinated against the virus, and we also had the opportunity to vaccinate some staff who have signed up as volunteers to support the vaccination programme. Please be on the lookout for our vaccination bus coming to a location near to you very soon.”
If you don’t want to wait for the bus, and you’re aged 42 or over, or in one of the other eligible groups, you can book your vaccine appointment at a local vaccination centre. It’s quick and simple to book – contact your GP practice, visit the national booking service at nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119.
For more information about the vaccination programme in Warrington, visit haltonwarringtonccg.nhs.uk/covidvaccine