COVID-19: London’s Vaxi Taxi scheme is driving vulnerable people to get their jabs
Written by Hitmix News on 24 May 2021
Throughout the pandemic, we have heard time and time again that “no one is safe until everyone is safe”.
That message is echoed by the London GP Dr Sharon Raymond, who is putting her words into action in the form of the Vaxi Taxi project, which helps vulnerable people access COVID-19 vaccinations.
She started the initiative in February, through the COVID Crisis Rescue Foundation, which she is the director of.
Image: Dr Sharon Raymond is behind the scheme
The foundation has partnered with NHS England and third sector organisations, like housing charities, to support people who have difficulties accessing healthcare.
Black cabs pick people up and take them to pop-up vaccination centres, or they can receive their jab in the back of the taxi.
Dr Raymond told Sky News: “We’re really thinking about the homeless, rough sleepers, those who have uncertain immigration status or people with communication difficulties, physical disabilities or no access to the internet.”
For those who feel nervous about coming forward, she says: “Please come to us, we’re here to have a chat with you about vaccination to allay your fears.”
She adds: “We do not need to know about your immigration status or any other information of that sort and you do not need an NHS number, we’re simply here to help.”
Nigel has been a black cab driver for more than 30 years, and helps ferry people to the pop-up centres. He says the reaction from passengers has been overwhelmingly positive and people are “all-for” getting their jab.
Image: Pop-up sites will help vulnerable people access COVID-19 vaccines
By playing music and handing out free lunch, the COVID Crisis Rescue Foundation hopes to create a relaxed atmosphere at its sites.
Dr Raymond says it’s also a chance to offer extra services. Cardiologists, podiatrists, and soon a dentist will be onsite to offer healthcare and advice.
The main focus is getting jabs in arms, and Dr Raymond’s key message is: “We need to be really careful not to leave people behind.”