NHS Lothian has joined forces with Lothian Buses to provide a mobile vaccination hub to deliver teenage booster jabs for S4-S6 pupils across the capital.
The initiative will see a Lothian Buses Airlink bus being converted into a mobile clinic to support the campaign throughout the summer months. Alongside this, the NHS Lothian team have also worked closely with council education colleagues to secure access to a number of schools across Lothian throughout the holidays, where clinics will also be run.
The teenage vaccination programme is usually run in schools during term time, but with the COVID-19 pandemic closing schools throughout 2020 and 2021, the service was interrupted. These summer clinics will ensure that all school leavers have access to the important meningitis ACWY vaccination and diphtheria, tetanus and polio boosters before they transition from secondary school to higher education or employment.
Dona Milne, Director of Public Health, NHS Lothian said, “We are delighted to launch this new initiative, in partnership with Lothian Buses. Our school vaccination programme is critically important to the health and wellbeing of children and young people, by preventing the risk of transmission and illness from serious conditions like polio and meningitis.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated closure of schools had a significant impact on the vaccination programme, however we were determined that despite these challenges, we would ensure that those leaving school had access to their booster jabs. Through the booster bus, and the pop-up clinics in a number of our schools, we can ensure that these vital vaccinations can still be delivered.
“I would like to thank all of the NHS Lothian teams, Lothian Buses and the council education teams for their hard work and commitment to making this initiative happen.”
Sarah Boyd, Operations Director, Lothian Buses said, “We are delighted to support NHS Lothian with this special summer vaccination programme for S4-S6 pupils. Lothian are fully committed to the local communities we serve and whilst this is a new pilot, it is one that we are really excited to be involved with.”
The booster bus will be located at Fort Kinnaird Retail Park on the 22 July, and Napier University, Sighthill campus on the 15 and 29 July. It has already delivered one successful day of vaccinations on 8 July at Fort Kinnaird. Those young people who are eligible have been contacted to arrange a suitable time to attend an appointment.
Younger pupils will be offered their booster jabs in school next year as part of the usual in-school Teenage Booster Programme.
For more information on immunisations for young people, visit NHS Inform.