New vaccination bus offers easier route to COVID jabs
A new vaccine bus is hitting the road to encourage more people to get on board with having their COVID-19 jab across Darlington.
From mid-August, the Council-owned bus, formally a mobile library, will visit sites across Darlington offering easy to access vaccinations to eligible residents.
Councillor Kevin Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Health and Housing at the Council, said: “We’re really proud to be able to provide the town’s first mobile vaccination clinic, which will make COVID-19 vaccinations even more accessible in Darlington.
“By providing the bus, we can remove as many barriers as possible for our communities who have not came forward for their vaccine for practical reasons, such as lack of transport or time in their schedules.
“The on-board team and supporting volunteers can also offer advice and support to those who are hesitant about getting their vaccines for other reasons – such as concerns about side effects.
“We hope our community focused approach to COVID vaccinations in Darlington will encourage as many residents as possible to get both doses of the vaccine so we can best protect our communities.”
Run by the NHS team who also provide vaccinations at Cockerton Pharmacy Centre and Firthmoor Community Centre, the mobile clinic will aim to boost vaccination rates in areas of the town where uptake has been lower than average.
Those eligible to receive a jab on the bus will be anyone who has yet to come forward for their first dose, or anyone who has yet to come forward for their second dose a minimum of eight weeks after their first.
Appointments are not required, and an on-board team of vaccinators and support staff will be on hand to answer questions or address any issues of vaccine hesitancy.
Penny Spring, Director of Public Health at Darlington Borough Council, said: "With cases remaining high in the North East region, it’s really important that we make the COVID-19 vaccine as accessible as possible in Darlington.
"We know that there are parts of our town where the uptake has been lower than average, and these wards will be where the mobile vaccination bus prioritises visiting.
“Almost 85% of our eligible population have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, which is fantastic news.
Our focus now is on those who have yet to come forward for their jab to ensure that as many people as possible across our communities are protected, as well as encouraging those who have yet to get their second dose to get double jabbed for the maximum protection offered by the vaccines.”
The dates, times and locations of Darlington’s vaccination bus will be shared on Darlington Borough Council’s website and social media channels, as well as promoted by the NHS Tees Valley CCG and partners.
The bus will be at Kendrew Street Car Park on Wednesday 25 August and Park Lane Car Park on Tuesday 31 August from 10am until 4pm.