The vaccination bus will be able to reach everyone who had particular difficulties going to vaccination centers , Source: City of Ghent

A vaccination bus will push Ghent over the finish line on herd immunity

A vaccination bus will push Ghent over the finish line on herd immunity

The city is offering this new service, giving everyone the opportunity to receive the shot

The Belgian city of Ghent is setting up a vaccination bus that will tour the neighbourhoods of the city starting from 25 August to 29 September. Despite the high vaccination rate of 73%, the local government wants to do a final push to reach herd immunity.

Residents will be able to get the shot without an appointment, with health staff going door to door and inviting people to the bus. The service is aimed at those who find it particularly difficult to make it to the usual vaccination centres. The bus will be supplied with doses of the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines.

The bus will go to places like the Vrijdagmarkt (the city’s historic square) and the South, but also in the Kanaaldorpen (Canal zone), Nieuw Gent and the Bloemekenswijk neighbourhood. It will stop at a different location every day and visit all of them twice in total.

Bringing the vaccine directly to the people

A pharmacist, a doctor and medical staff will travel on the bus, to make sure everything runs smoothly. The staff will go around the locations to inform citizens about the new campaign and explain away any concerns about vaccination in general.

The process on the bus will largely be the same as in the vaccination centres: checking identity data, filling out a medical questionnaire, getting the jab and finally waiting for 15 minutes.

To reach non-Dutch speakers the bus will carry non-Dutch language guides, such as quarantine coaches and health guides. The city will also reach out in a localised information campaign to promote the new service and reach as many people as possible.

In the meantime, other vaccination centres in the city will remain open, but at a reduced capacity, because of the lower demand.

Rudy Coddens, Alderman of Health was quoted in a press release, saying: “We are now bringing the corona vaccination to the people, in this way lowering the threshold and giving everyone the opportunity to take the shot in their own neighbourhood. By offering this new and extra option, we can boost the already high number of seven out of ten vaccinated inhabitants of Ghent”.



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