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Mobile testing units to also deliver vaccinations

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For months, Devon County Council has been operating a fleet of mobile testing units that deliver lateral flow tests for people who have no symptoms of coronavirus, in towns across the county. 

It’s one of the main ways of stopping the spread of coronavirus, by identifying people likely to have the virus and asking them to self-isolate pending a full, laboratory-analysed, PCR test.

But the team has now partnered-up with the local NHS, and this Thursday (19 August 2021), they’ll be in Kingsbridge to also provide vaccinations against coronavirus, as well as lateral flow tests.

The County Council is using its mobile testing vehicles to deliver vaccinations, as well as lateral flow tests, to targeted areas – where there is low vaccine uptake for example, or to target specific groups in the community.

The testing team will be joined by a GP, who will provide the clinical lead role; a vaccination administrator; and a data recorder to make sure it’s properly documented.

Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, said:

“The vaccines are proven to help reduce the likelihood of becoming seriously unwell, needing hospital or dying of coronavirus-related illness.  It also helps reduce the risk of transmission for people who have the virus.  So it’s really important that people take up the vaccine when it’s offered to them.

“Take-up of the vaccine in Devon has been very good, but there are still pockets where uptake has been below average.  We and the local NHS are working together to take the vaccine to those areas to improve take-up.  Our mobile testing units are the perfect vehicles, literally, to get the vaccine to harder to reach audiences.”

Kingsbridge this Thursday is a pilot.  Vaccinations will be available from 10am to 4pm, at the Town Square, Kingsbridge, TQ7 1HN.   The Pfizer vaccine will be available for first or second dose, (with second doses at least eight week after the first dose).

The Council will see how it goes, but they’ve already pencilled in stops in Exeter in early September.