The NHS has teamed up with Leeds City Council, and local voluntary and community organisations to launch a vaccination minibus service.

The first stop will be Maud Avenue in Beeston. People will only be able to have the vaccine if they’ve received a text message from their GP practice inviting them to the vaccination minibus.

Healthcare professionals will be joined by people from local community organisations and volunteers to encourage people to have their vaccine. This will be an opportunity for people to discuss any concerns they may have on the vaccine.

Dr Kashif Sarwar, GP and Clinical Director for Beeston Primary Care Network, said: “We decided to use a mobile service to try to encourage people from the local community to take up their vaccine.

“Hopefully delivering the vaccine in a location that people are familiar with and feel comfortable attending will help encourage more patients to attend. We’re listening to feedback from our local communities and are doing what we can to address some of the issues being raised.

“Having healthcare professionals and people from the local voluntary and community organisations will give local patients an opportunity to come and talk to us, especially if they have particular concerns on the vaccine.

“We know there’s a lot of misinformation on social platforms, but we want patients to come and talk to us, so that they’re getting trusted and reliable information.”

Vaccine bus group: Cllr Salma Arif, Dr Sarwar, Cllr Iqbal and lead nurse Jack Ritter (picture credit: Jude Palmer)

Sam Prince, Executive Director of Operations for the Leeds Covid Vaccination Programme, said: “It’s important for us to look at how we can make it as easy as possible for people to get their vaccinations. We’re looking at innovative ways on how we can increase the uptake of the vaccine and having the vaccination minibus is one of them.

“We want patients to understand how the vaccine will protect them against the disease and reduce their risk of becoming seriously unwell. So, when you receive the text message from your GP practice inviting you to the mobile vaccination minibus, please take up your invite.

“I’m proud to be leading on the Leeds Vaccination Programme, we have embedded the team Leeds approach in all our vaccination work. All partners across the city including NHS organisations, Leeds City Council, universities in Leeds, voluntary and community organisations are coming together as we continue to vaccinate priority groups one to nine, in line with the recommendations from the Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations (JCVI).”

Councillor Salma Arif, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing at Leeds City Council, said: “I’m proud to be part of a city that is constantly looking at innovative ways to increase the uptake of the vaccine. This approach is an opportunity for people in Beeston to have the vaccine in an area they’re familiar with.

“If you do receive the text message from your GP practice, I’d urge you to attend the mobile vaccination minibus. Having the vaccine is our best hope for returning to normal life. If you have questions or you’re unsure about the vaccine, there will be healthcare professionals and people from the community who will be able to address any concerns you have about the vaccine.”

For further information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit www.nhs.uk/CovidVaccine

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