Fleet of Covid-19 vaccine buses hit Auckland streets

Source: 1News

A fleet of Covid-19 vaccination buses hit the streets of Auckland on Thursday morning in a bid to get some of the hardest to reach communities vaccinated.

The buses are former Auckland Airport Park and Ride buses refitted to work with the vaccination team.

"This morning, the first of our mobile vaccine buses were launched in Auckland to parts of the city where vaccination numbers have been lower or people haven't been able to access vaccination centres easily," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said during the 1pm Covid-19 press conference.

Three buses were launched on Thursday morning, with one heading to the supermarkets along Lincoln Rd in West Auckland, one based at the Pukekohe Countdown, and another at the Papakura Train Station.

A further three buses are being refitted on Thursday before being deployed "over the next couple of days", Ardern said. The Government will be "looking to build up the fleet even further over the next week". 

The fleet of Auckland vaccination buses ahead of its rollout.

This means there could be 12 buses in total operating in the coming weeks.

"We are working closely with our Māori and Pacific provider partners and community leaders to determine what locations to target, with a particular focus on suburbs. We want to ensure vaccines are accessible," Ardern said.

A close-up of the signage on one of the Covid-19 vaccination buses.

At Alert Level 3 and 4, vaccinations will not be carried out inside the bus, but will instead serve as a base for vaccinations taking place outside.

At Alert Level 1 and 2, people will be allowed to enter the bus to get vaccinated before taking a seat for their 20-minute observation time.

A vaccine bus dubbed 'Shot Bro'.

The authorities hope the buses will help get vulnerable communities vaccinated.

Ardern asked people on Facebook on Wednesday night to vote on names for the buses to beat Australia's 'Jabba the Bus'.

The names are: Jabba Waka, Shot Bro, Jabbin Wagon, and Vaxi Taxi.