Bus company East Yorkshire is working with East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group and East Riding of Yorkshire Council to allow people free bus travel to and from their COVID-19 vaccine appointments in the East Riding.
Around 9 out of 10 people in the East Riding of Yorkshire region have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but there are over 28k people in the East Riding who are still eligible to come forward for their booster vaccination.
The free travel offer aims to remove another barrier for people who haven't yet booked their first or second jab or booster, making it easier for those without a car or on low incomes to get to the vaccination centres.
Like some other vaccinations, levels of protection may begin to reduce in time. It is therefore still vitally important for people to come forward for their COVID-19 booster as it will help extend the protection they gained from the first and second doses and give them longer-term protection.
Ben Gilligan, East Yorkshire's Area Director, said: "Anything that we can do to encourage people to attend vaccine appointments will help us all get back to normal life quicker, so when the NHS asked us to help them in their mission to get as many people vaccinated as possible, we didn't hesitate."
"It's great that we can play a small part in defeating the virus and helping to beat this pandemic for good."
Dr Anne Jeffreys, local GP and East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group Chair, said:
"We're really pleased to be working in partnership with East Yorkshire Buses to offer free transport for those who would otherwise struggle to get to a vaccine site. It's never too late for people to have their COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccination programme is still open and available to everyone who needs it. I would encourage those people who haven't yet had any of their vaccines to use the online NHS booking service to book their jab, this way they will receive the required proof of booking for free travel to the vaccination site. Or for those with their own transport, simply walk into a local walk-in site, there are a number throughout Hull and East Riding. For more information on venues, dates and times visit Vaccinate Hull and East Riding."
East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Public Health Nurse Consultant, Zoe Stevens, said: "We are delighted to support the launch of the East Yorkshire Buses and East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group free travel initiative. We want everyone who is eligible to have the ability to access their vaccine, wherever they live in the local authority, and for as many East Riding residents who can, to get vaccinated.
"If you have already had your jabs, and you can, why not help someone else get their booster, first or second vaccine? It's never too late to get vaccinated. There are a host of walk-in or pre-booked clinics available in the East Riding, just select the best option for you."
To get free travel to and from a vaccination appointment, all people will have to do is show official proof of an appointment - i.e. a text, email or letter from NHS Booking - to the driver when they board an East Yorkshire bus. There are vaccination centres right across the region, many with bus stops right outside or just a few minutes' walk away.
The free travel offer begins immediately, and is only available for travel to/from vaccination centres in the East Riding, although you can travel from outside the region, i.e. Hull, to the East Riding vaccination centre. You can find your nearest vaccination centre and book an appointment at www.vaccinatehullandeastriding.co.uk, or you can plan a journey to your nearest centre at www.eastyorkshirebuses.co.uk or by ringing BusLine on 01482 59 29 29.