Residents in Greenwich, Crawley, Horsham, Sussex, East Surrey, and south-east London were administered COVID-19 vaccine in an NHS bus in order to provide the high-risk groups better accessibility to vials in the UK’s first phase of vaccination rollout. Alliance for Better Care (ABC), the Metro bus and other companies joined forces with NHS in launching the mobile COVID-19 vaccination units to get those vulnerable communities vaccines who are hard to reach or have transportation constraints. Under UK’s mobile vaccination program, people could make an appointment to get their jabs, however, they were required to wait for an invite to avoid overcrowding.
According to the UK’s broadcasters, the buses that are participating as the vaccination mobile unit were first equipped with medical products and were adapted into a centre. For this, the companies removed handrails and seats to make more room for vaccination staff and other products inside the vehicle. The buses have one-way in and one way out system with dual doors. Managing director at Brighton and Hove Buses and Metro Bus said in a statement that the buses were sanitized, and were safe for the COVID-19 vaccination. “We are exceptionally pleased and proud to get behind the rollout of the vital NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, especially when it helps vulnerable people and hard-to-reach communities get their vaccines,” he reportedly said. Furthermore, chief executive at Alliance for Better Care, Katherine Saunders hailed the launch, saying that UK’s mobile vaccination units had a potential to get COVID vaccines to hard-to-reach groups.
Asha was delighted to receive her #CovidVaccine in our bus @UniofGreenwich today and she was really keen to encourage others to have the vaccine when it is their turn. The bus will be visiting areas where there has been lower uptake so far. pic.twitter.com/b9DOcVtWdx— NHS Greenwich CCG (@NHSGreenwichCCG) February 13, 2021
Our #CovidVaccine bus is a key part of our strategy in #Greenwich to ensure that everyone who is eligible (currently people 70+ and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable) are able to access a vaccine. Having a vaccine is the best way to protect you from coronavirus pic.twitter.com/fweYnu91Tg— NHS Greenwich CCG (@NHSGreenwichCCG) February 13, 2021
Earlier, as UK government nears its target of vaccinating the top priority groups by Monday, it announced that all citizens over-70 that were vulnerable to COVID-19 must come forward and get vaccinated by the National Health Service (NHS). The vaccine is safe and will protect you and your loved ones – no matter your background,” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel volunteering for people to get vaccinated at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Bedford, eastern England, said. Meanwhile, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, in an interview with UK’s ’The Daily Telegraph’ that he hoped that ultimately COVID-19 was just seasonal flu once the world gets pandemic under control. “I hope that COVID-19 will become a treatable disease by the end of the year," Hancock further added, according to an AP report.