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NHS vaccine bus returns to deliver first COVID vaccines to East Durham residents

Jun 6, 2021 | Local News

A working men’s club and a busy marketplace will be among the destinations visited by the NHS vaccine bus as it continues its journey across County Durham.

Run by health staff from Easington District, Sedgefield North and North Easington Primary Care Networks, the mobile clinics will deliver first vaccinations only to people living or working in County Durham.

Those able to receive their jab will include people who are within the current eligible age cohorts, carers, health & social care frontline staff and people over the age of 16 years who are clinically vulnerable, or have a learning disability, who have not yet had their first jab.

The bus, which has a capacity to provide around 250 vaccinations a day, will stop at:

  • Aldi Car Park, Horden, Peterlee, SR8 5BA, on June 9, from 12 noon to 7pm
  • Kelloe Working Men’s Club Car Park, 4 Front Street, Kelloe, DH6 4PD, on June 11, from 12 noon to 7pm
  • Ferryhill Market Place, DL17 8JW, on June 15, from 12 noon to 7pm
  • Asda Car Park, Byron Place, South Terrace, Seaham, SR7 7HN, on June 21, from 12 noon to 7pm

No appointment is needed and an on-board team of immunisers and support staff, from NHS County Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Durham County Council’s Public Health Team, will be on hand to answer questions or address any issues of vaccine hesitancy.

Kate Huddart, head of medicines optimisationNHS County Durham CCG, said: “We were extremely pleased by the success of our last vaccine bus visit to Peterlee where over 225 people came on board to have their jab.

“This is now a great opportunity for us to take the bus into other areas across the county, where uptake of the covid vaccine may need to be encouraged, to enable as many people as possible to get their first vaccination as quickly and as conveniently as possible.”

More than 563,490 Covid-19 vaccinations have already been administered in County Durham, from sites across the county, including 13 local GP led vaccination clinics, three community pharmacies and the Arnison Centre, large vaccination hub.

Michael Laing, County Durham Care Partnership director of integrated community services, said: “This is yet another example of the close collaborative approach of health partners making a real difference to local people, and ensuring that wherever you live in Country Durham you can get vaccinated.”

Amanda Healy, Durham County Council’s director of public health, said: “It is fantastic to see that the first use of the vaccination bus in County Durham had such a successful outcome, with hundreds of people getting their jab.

“Moving the bus to other areas of the county will help support the success of the vaccination programme by making it more accessible for people to receive their jab in areas where the uptake is lower. By encouraging residents to receive their Covid-19 jab, we can help to protect as many people as possible from the virus.”

The MELISSA bus (Mobile Educational Learning, Improving Simulation and Safety Activities), which will be used as the mobile clinic to administer the vaccinations, has been provided by Health Education England, North East.

The fully refurbished double decker bus is used to deliver education and training to staff and the public in rural or hard to reach communities across the region.

MELISSA team manager, Stephen Cooper, added: “We are once again delighted to be able to support NHS County Durham CCG, County Durham Care Partnership and Durham County Council’s Public Health Team in their COVID-19 public awareness and vaccination campaign.”