A vaccine bus will be hitting the streets of Wolverhampton from today, as part of a pilot project aimed at making access to vaccination easier for some of the city’s most vulnerable households.
In a partnership between the City of Wolverhampton Council, Black Country & West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local GPs, the mobile vaccination clinic will be in Phoenix Park car park, off Dudley Road in Blakenhall.
The bus will be open from 2pm until 7pm today (9 June) and then 11am – 7pm daily until Sunday evening.
Unvaccinated households in the Blakenhall and surrounding areas with eligible residents can go along and get the first dose of their vaccine, without needing to book an appointment.
The priority for the bus is to reach those not yet vaccinated at another service. The bus ensures that vaccines can be taken right to the heart of local communities to give the vaccine to those not able to or those who so far have not taken the opportunity of a vaccine at their GP or larger vaccination centre. Health chiefs are urging people not to travel across the City to the vaccine bus. The bus will tour around other areas over the coming weeks and those who can use the national booking service should do so.
Teams of volunteers will be out and about in the area at the same time, letting people know that the vaccine bus is there, and specifically visiting those people over the age of 50 who have yet to be vaccinated in order to protect people who are most at risk from Covid-19.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said:
“This pilot scheme is about proactively taking the vaccine bus out into our most at-risk communities, to make it easier for people to get their vaccine and benefit from the protection it provides.
“Infection rates in Wolverhampton are low in comparison to other areas, but we are starting to see them rise, so now is the time to get ahead of the virus and make sure as many people as possible can get their vaccine. This is particularly important as we see Variants of Concern such as the Delta variant, becoming more dominant across the country.
“We are piloting the vaccine bus in Blakenhall as data shows there’s a higher number of older residents in the local area who are eligible for their vaccine but have not yet had it, often with more than one person in the same household.
“Once we’ve completed this pilot we will then be moving to other parts of the city over the coming weeks. If you don’t live in Blakenhall but are eligible for your jab, then don’t forget you can book directly with the NHS online.”
Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for BCWB CCG and local vaccination programme lead said,
“This is a real opportunity for people in Wolverhampton to have their vaccination literally on their doorstep.
“By having their vaccine, they will not only be protecting themselves, but their families and the local community around them too.
“This method of delivering the vaccine supports our already existing clinics delivered at leisure centres, local GP surgeries and in community venues across the city.”
The current national programme is inviting anyone who is aged 25 plus, or who will turn 25 before July 1, can book their appointment at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine. The vaccine is also available to the clinically extremely vulnerable, people with a learning disability, frontline health and social care workers and people in receipt of Carer's Allowance or who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person.
Latest data shows there were 36.1 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the seven days to 6 June. That means 95 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that seven-day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be considerably higher.