New mobile vaccination clinic helps bring lifesaving jab to communities yet to take up offer of coronavirus vaccine
The rollout of the coronavirus vaccine across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire is set to reach new ground this week as the region’s first mobile vaccination clinic takes to the road.
Beginning its tour of locations in Swindon this week, the mobile vaccination clinic will visit local communities where uptake of the coronavirus vaccine has been low and where it is known there are high levels of vaccine hesitancy.
It is hoped that by bringing the specially adapted bus, which has been refitted to enable teams to provide the jab in a clean and secure environment, to the heart of a given community, people who would otherwise refrain from having the vaccine will be more inclined to take up the offer.
The mobile clinic will also double up as a safe conversation space in which people with questions or queries can talk about their concerns with experienced healthcare professionals before deciding whether to have the vaccine.
Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “Although we have had an absolutely phenomenal response to our vaccination programme so far, we know there are some concerned people in our communities who have decided not to take up the offer of the vaccine.
“We would hate for any person to put off getting protected as a result of misinformation, which is why our mobile vaccination clinic not only provides a space in which vaccines can be given close to home, but also a setting in which queries and concerns can be discussed openly and honestly with our teams of healthcare experts.
“The coronavirus vaccine has been designed to protect us all from a disease that does not discriminate, and I hope many people will benefit from this new service and, in turn, help stop the spread of Covid-19 among all local communities.”
Details of when and where the mobile vaccination clinic will be located will be advertised to specific communities through ongoing outreach work happening with community leaders, faith groups and public health workers.
Steve Maddern, Swindon Borough Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “The new mobile vaccination clinic will be an invaluable tool that will allow us to target areas with lower vaccination uptake.
“It is never too late to change your mind if you have previously said no to vaccination, and this new mobile clinic will be a huge boost in our efforts to protect those communities who, up until now, have been hesitant of the vaccine.”
Kate Blackburn, Wiltshire Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “The vaccine uptake in Wiltshire has been really strong so far, which is great to see because we know that vaccination plays such a vital part of the government’s roadmap plan and easing of restrictions.
“There are particular parts of the county where we have seen a lower uptake of vaccinations in some communities. As a largely rural county, we also want to ensure that the vaccine is accessible. We hope that bringing the mobile clinic in to the heart of these communities will encourage people to attend the clinic, and also offers a space to discuss any concerns people may have about the vaccine.”
Becky Reynolds, Bath and North East Somerset’s Director of Public Health, said: “The large vaccination clinics have been fantastic at helping us vaccinate large numbers of people quickly. But for many people it's impossible to travel outside of their area for a vaccination.
“That may be because of health issues, a lack of transport or anxiety about the vaccination itself. The mobile vaccination clinic will help us reach out to those people and offer them a safe space much closer to home."