A specially converted vaccine centre is being used in Bolton to urge people to take the vaccine

People who have not had their first dose of the life-saving vaccine are urged to hop on ­ Credit: ITV News

It is believed to be the first of its kind in the North West - the bus that's been converted into a mobile vaccination centre.

It's being used in Bolton to target areas where there has been a low take up for the jabs.

Using street-level data, staff on the bus will go door to door to encourage people 50 and over to get the jab, those who are registered carers or shielding will also be eligible.

Dr Helen Wall from Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group is leading the vaccination programme. She says it's vital to get to areas where people have limited access to transport.

The first person to use the specially converted vaccine centre was Father Pawel Stebel of the Good Shepherd Church in Bolton. He told us that he misinformation about the vaccines on social media and the internet is a big factor in the the low uptake of the jab by the Polish community.

People who have not had their first dose of the life-saving vaccine are urged to hop on ­— if they fit the eligibility criteria ­— and no ticket or appointment is required.

It's currently parked on Rupert Street at Bolton Medical Centre until 4pm and those living in the borough are being urged to get on board.

To be able to have the vaccine, you must fit the following criteria:

  • 50-years-old or over

  • A registered carer

  • Shielding

  • Living with a long-term health condition

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Under-30s in the UK are to be offered an alternative Covid vaccine to the AstraZeneca jab due to the evidence linking it to rare blood clots.

The recommendation comes after a review by the UK drugs regulator found that by the end of March 79 people had suffered rare blood clots after vaccination - 19 of whom had died.

But what about people who are in their 30s?

By the end of July, the 30-39 age group will have been offered the AstraZeneca vaccine, but some have voiced concern that if the vaccine isn't safe for under-30s, how can it be safe for those in their early 30s, for example.

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The Vaccination Bus will initially make stops around the Deane, Daubhill, Derby and Great Lever areas, but it could be coming to a street, community venue or place of worship anywhere in Bolton.

The 12.5-metre single-decker coach has been kitted out to provide three vaccination booths.

A Covid-secure one-way system will be in place and wheelchair lift access is available.

The Vaccination Bus will be parked up at key locations for a set period of time and anyone who spots the bus and fits the criteria can be vaccinated there and then.

Teams will also be in the areas, knocking on doors and drumming up interest, and representatives from local community groups will be on hand to welcome people.

Health professionals will be available if anyone wishes to discuss their vaccination or has concerns.