All aboard! COVID vaccination bus launched in Essex – first stop, Lakeside Shopping Centre

August 18, 2021

A mobile COVID-19 vaccination community bus is now touring Essex to make it as easy as possible for people to get their vaccination without having to make an appointment.

Staff from Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust Vaccination Programme are working with Essex County Council to encourage more people within local communities to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

The mobile Community Vaccination Bus, which has been funded by Essex County Council’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund, will be visiting areas of Essex where the take-up of the vaccine has been lower.

Over the next few months, the bus will be parked up at a variety of different locations across the county making it as accessible as possible for people to get both first and second doses of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations.

Nigel Leonard, Executive Director of Major Projects and Programmes, said: “This COVID-19 vaccination bus demonstrates the fantastic collaborative working with our fellow partners in the county. We’re proud to be working together to be able to vaccinate our communities.

“Staff from Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust have so far helped to vaccinate over 700,000 people since the programme began, and by supporting the mobile COVID-19 vaccination bus, we hope to reach even more and help protect as many people as possible in our County.”

Melissa Dowdeswell, Director of Nursing and Clinical Governance and Operational Director for MSE Covid vaccination sites, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer members of the community an easy way to get their vaccination across Essex.

There are still large numbers of people unprotected against the virus across Essex so we’re reaching out to those who haven’t yet taken up the offer of an appointment.

“Everyone over the age of 16 is now able to come forward for their vaccination, and it’s the best way that you can protect yourself and your loved ones from serious illness.”

Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care at Essex County Council, said: “Over 83% of eligible Essex residents have received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination which is great cause for celebration. It is testimony to the hard work of NHS partners, thousands of volunteers, and the readiness of our citizens.

“However, for some people the cost of travel, getting time off work, or juggling childcare or other care responsibilities makes getting the vaccine more difficult for them. I hope the new mobile COVID-19 vaccination bus will help remove some of these barriers and make the vaccine as accessible as possible for everyone in Essex.”

As of Friday 20 August, the Community Vaccination Bus will be situated in car park 8 at Lakeside Shopping Centre in Thurrock for two weeks and will be open from 10am to 3pm weekdays and weekends, so you can even get a jab at the same time as your shopping.

Howard Oldstein, centre director at Lakeside Shopping Centre, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer space for the Vaccination Bus to be located at the centre, to enable those that wish to be vaccinated at a time convenient for them.”

For a list of times and days please view the full COVID-19 vaccination bus schedule below:

Community vaccination bus timetable - the bus will be situated in car park 8 at Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock, from Friday 20 August until Saturday 4 September 2021. It will open daily from 10:00am to 3:00pm. The vaccination bus will not be operating at Lakeside on Monday 30 August 2021 as it is a bank holiday.