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Blackpool’s GrabAJab Vaccine Van delivers its 1000th vaccination

Written by on 16/07/2021

A ‘vaccine van’ scheme set up to make it easier for residents to get the COVID-19 jab has successfully vaccinated its 1000th visitor.

Charlie Cheese (pictured left) and Amanda Cheese (right) dropped in at Blackpool Central Mosque on Friday 9 July, along with baby Matilda. They received vaccines 1000 and 1001 from pharmacist and vaccinator Hussain Vali.

The scheme was launched by Blackpool Council on 24 June and is being run by FCMS along with local NHS vaccinators from pharmacy sites.

In line with the vaccination programme opening up to all adults in England, the vaccine van is delivering first and second doses to anyone over 18 years old, with no appointments necessary. Both Pfizer and AstraZeneca are available on board.

The aim of the scheme is to make it as easy as possible for any adult in Blackpool to access the vaccine and reach those who perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise booked the jab.

So far, the van has visited a wide range of Blackpool locations, including Palatine Leisure Centre, @TheGrange, Norbreck Castle Hotel and Blackpool Central Mosque, as well as a variety of town centre venues and supermarkets.

More locations are already planned for the coming weeks, including Central Library, Talbot and Brunswick Family Hub, Revoelution and Layton Depot.

The service currently runs Wednesday to Sunday, and anyone can drop into any location convenient for them.

Residents are greeted by marshals, who direct them to the friendly team on site. Once they have received their vaccination, there is a waiting area where the team make sure they feel well. Social distancing measures are in place and visitors are asked to wear a face covering unless exempt.

Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health, said:

“We’re delighted with the success of the vaccine van because it means 1000 more people in Blackpool now have protection from coronavirus and its effects.

“We need to remember that Covid is still with us, and cases are rising in Blackpool. Everyone in the town has done an amazing job of keeping our most vulnerable safe, but we need this push to get all adults vaccinated with two doses so that everyone has maximum protection from this horrible disease.

“Sometimes people can be affected by Covid who are otherwise healthy or have undiagnosed underlying conditions. Long-Covid can also affect all ages and can be debilitating, so we cannot urge people enough to get their two doses of the vaccine.

“The van makes getting vaccinated an extremely quick and easy process with no fuss and no pressure. The benefit of being able to drop in means if anyone is nervous or worried about getting the vaccine, they can walk up with a friend for support or just pop in and chat to the team first.”

Dates and locations for the vaccine van are updated regularly online at www.blackpool.gov.uk/VaccineVan