Coronavirus: News from our partners – Basil, the new COVID-19 vaccination bus, hits the road
News from our partners NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Service
A third COVID-19 vaccination bus is on the road in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin in a bid to ensure more remote areas of the county are visited.
Many local people will be familiar with Bob the Bus – the mobile vaccination service that has been parking up at a number of locations during the pandemic – as well as his sister, Betty the Bus, who was introduced last month. Now, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS) are pleased to announce a third vaccination bus, lovingly named Basil by the vaccination team.
Basil started visiting parts of the county last week – including Craven Arms Fire Station, Prees Fire Station and the Antenatal Clinic at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
This week, he visited Cleobury Mortimer Fire Station yesterday, and is at RAF Shawbury today (Friday 28 January 2022). A full list of clinics, including dates and opening times, can be found on the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS’s website here.
The newest bus will be visiting the more rural parts of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin – with the aim of boosting vaccination rates in areas of lower uptake, as well as discussing and educating people on the benefits of the jab. Basil will provide easier access for people who may find it difficult to get to a designated vaccination centre.
Basil will also be visiting people experiencing homelessness, local care homes, housebound patients and antenatal clinics across the county.
Melanie France, Head of Vaccination Centres for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said:-
“We are beyond thrilled to have a third bus locally, as it means that we can continue to get to those people who might otherwise struggle to get to a vaccination clinic easily.
“Whether it’s a first, second, third or a booster dose that you need, Basil will have you covered and give you the vital protection that you need against COVID-19.”
Angie Wallace, Senior Responsible Officer for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, added:-
“Both Bob and Betty have proved to be a fantastic success for us locally, so we are confident that Basil will help us vaccinate even more local people.
“Getting the vaccine using our mobile service is easy and convenient. You don’t need to have an NHS number or be registered with a GP – you can just hop on board, without the need to book. It couldn’t be any easier.
“Vaccination provides powerful protection against severe illness with COVID-19, so getting the jab is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and the people around you. Boosters are also vital to maintain a high level of protection because the vaccine starts to deteriorate as time goes by.”
UK Health Security Agency data demonstrates the great protection two doses offer, whilst not enough to completely stop the surge of Omicron, adding an additional third dose prevents around 75% of people from getting any COVID-19 symptoms.
The NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin has delivered more than 1.1 million doses since its inception.