Free journeys in vaxi cabs to drive up vaccination rates in Bedfordshire

Free journeys in vaxi cabs to drive up vaccination rates in Bedfordshire image

Home » Free journeys in vaxi cabs to drive up vaccination rates in Bedfordshire

People living or working in Bedford Borough or Central Bedfordshire who are now eligible for a COVID-19 autumn booster but don’t have access to transport, have been reminded that they can take advantage of the free Vaxi Cabs service to get to their local vaccination centre or pharmacy.

This taxi service, launched by Bedford and Central Bedfordshire councils, is a transport initiative that is free for anyone living or working in the two areas and is eligible for any of their COVID-19 vaccinations. The initiative was launched to address situations where people didn’t get vaccinated because it was difficult for them to travel to a vaccination centre.

The safe, convenient service doesn’t just stop off at vaccination centres, but it will take patients to participating pharmacies too, ensuring that travel is not a barrier to getting virus protection.

Approved taxi operators’ details can be found on the Bedford and Central Bedfordshire council websites, and residents are able to arrange for a visit to any local vaccination site. They can accommodate up to five and have carried out journeys for individuals, whole families and entire households.  These journeys can be either to or from the vaccination site, as well as round trips.

Vicky Head, director of public health for Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes councils, said:

“I am pleased that we’ve been able to be part of this project.  This initiative has meant that we have been able to vaccinate more people in Bedford and Central Bedfordshire, and in particular, those who would not otherwise have had the means to get to the vaccination sites.

“We’re also really grateful to our colleagues in the community and voluntary sectors who have supported the programme by spreading the word among the people they work with.

“I am so glad that we have the continued support of our local taxi drivers and companies in Bedford and Central Bedfordshire. Without their commitment and dedication this service would not have worked.

“Vaxi Cabs have enabled individuals and groups from our most deprived areas to have the vaccine keeping them and our communities safe.  I know lots of residents have been glad to have a friendly face to get them to their vaccine appointments and safely home again.”

Craig Lister, COVID immunisation and vaccination strategy lead at Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership, said:

“We’re very pleased that the Vaxi Cabs service remains available for the autumn COVID booster campaign.  This is a great partnership, which has seen well over 1,000 journeys to allow people to get their important vaccinations.  I hope anyone who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to a vaccination centre will take advantage of the scheme to do so.

“Our advice hasn’t changed – if you’re eligible, getting vaccinated is still the best way to maximise your protection against COVID and serious illness, hospitalisation or even death.  Case numbers are already starting to rise again this autumn and, with the winter ahead, it is important to get vaccinated as soon as you can.

“The Vaxi Cabs service provides support to our local population to enable them to get their life-saving jabs.”

COVID-19 vaccination appointments are now bookable via the National Booking Service, either online or by calling 119.  There are venues across Bedford and Central Bedfordshire, including at Bedford Heights in Manton Lane, Biggleswade Hospital and at almost 20 pharmacies too.  Some locations may also have walk-in slots available, where you don’t need to book ahead.  Visit the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership website for details of a venue near you.

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