Buses are a common sight in the capital, but a new service launching today has very different onboard facilities.

A roving double-decker, complete with doctors and medics, is giving Londoners the opportunity to get their Covid vaccines (either for the first time or to top up with a second dose).

The scheme is being launched in Ilford, East London on Tuesday (April 27) to try and encourage more people from the Muslim community to get the jab during Ramadan.

However, people of all denominations can get vaccinated and rapid testing kits will also be available to pick up.

It will park in key areas in the borough (Redbridge Council)

The bus is initially providing twilight sessions at local mosques to enable residents to attend without breaking their fast – although Muslims have been told that by getting the vaccine they aren’t breaking fast.

The service will officially launch at Balfour Road Mosque between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Tuesday – for other locations and dates scroll below.

Dr Najib Seedat, who is also a GP at the Ilford medical centre, said: “I’m delighted to be part of this engagement work to help educate the public around Covid-19 vaccines and help vaccinate residents who are eligible.

“The vaccination bus is a great idea as we as GPs can also use this as a route to get our patients vaccinated.

“I encourage people to book the vaccination bus, especially community groups as this will allow us to vaccinate more people at once in a location that works best for them.”

Redbridge Director of Public Health, Gladys Xavier added: “We want to make it as easy as possible to get vaccinated, and the new bus will support many more people to do so while helping to keep Redbridge safe.

“We are working with our community partners to locate the bus in the right places, at the right times, so that as many people as possible can have easy access to vaccine jabs and testing kits.

“As well as visiting local mosques during Ramadan, the bus will also continue to tour across different locations in the borough.”

So far, Redbridge Council said more than 120,000 people had already been vaccinated in the borough.

To help increase the numbers, the bus will travel to Belgrave Road (IG1 3LG) on Thursday (April 29) and Newbury Park (IG2 7PY) on Saturday (May 1).

A council spokesperson added: “Residents are encouraged to book their vaccine jab on the vaccine bus on a day and time that suits them by calling the free phone line 0800 038 59 29 between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week.

“Community groups and organisations can also book.”

A similar scheme is also being undertaken in Camden, North London, although residents from this neck of the woods will have to board a minibus rather than a double-decker.

It is hoped the vehicle will help “fill in the gaps” in the vaccine rollout by picking up people eligible for a jab but who have not come forward.

The bus will operate for four hours a day, three days a week and begins its tour in the Euston and Regent’s Park Estate area.

The Camden bus is a little bit smaller than Redbridge’s (Camden Council)

The bus has a limited capacity to give vaccinations and has been developed as an addition to the 15 NHS and community vaccination sites that have been used so far in Camden. Residents should continue to book their Covid-19 jab at a vaccine centre or GP surgery if they can get there. Residents who are currently not eligible for the vaccine should not attempt to get one from the bus.

Tim Jaggard, Acting Chief Executive of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) said: “Taking the vaccine out on to the streets of Camden by bus will help make sure that everyone can get easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

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“With large scale vaccination centres, pharmacies, GP surgeries and now a bus offering the vaccine, I hope it means there is a service that works for you.”

Piers Simey, Acting Director of Public Health for Camden, added: “The NHS vaccination programme has been a great success. The first person was vaccinated in Camden in December. Since then more than 86,000 residents have been vaccinated, with 32,000 of these people having both jabs – the full dose of protection.

“But we don’t want to leave anyone behind in Camden. We know that certain communities may need extra reassurance or assistance to have their first jab, so we are looking to share whatever information they may need, and to ensure that having the vaccine is as convenient as possible.”

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