Booster buses offer thousands of extra COVID-19 vaccines across Hampshire and Isle of Wight

Thousands of COVID-19 boosters will be available across Hampshire and Isle of Wight this weekend as health and care partners work together to protect even more people from the virus.

As the NHS works at extreme pace to jab more people as part of the largest vaccination drive in history of the NHS, walk-ins are being offered via two new booster buses.

One bus will visit the Isle of Wight for an initial four days from tomorrow (Thursday). A second bus will visit Portsmouth on Friday, Gosport on Saturday and Southampton on Sunday.

With the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) updating its guidance in response to the newly discovered Omicron variant, more people than ever will be able to access a vaccine or booster.

But plans are being rapidly scaled up as we work to ensure than everyone aged 18 and over is offered a booster dose by the end of January, in-line with Government guidance.

Now, between Thursday 2 December and Sunday 5 December those who are eligible for a booster jab from cohorts 1-10 (anyone aged 40 and over) who received their second dose six months ago, will be able to walk in and get their booster.

A booster bus will visit the following locations:

Thursday 2 December

Sandown Fire Station, 4-5 E Yar Rd, Sandown, PO36 9AY,Isle of Wight. 9am - 4pm

Friday 3 December

Guildhall Walk, PO1 2AB, Portsmouth. 9am - 4pm

Moa Place Car Park, Freshwater PO40 9AN, Isle of Wight. 9am - 4pm

Saturday 4 December

Thorngate Way car park, Gosport, PO12 1HR, 9am-4pm

The Heights Leisure Centre, Broadway, Sandown PO36 9ET. 9am - 4pm

Sunday 5 December

Bargate, High St, Southampton SO14 2DJ. 10am - 4pm

Central Car Park, Ventnor, PO38 1LU, Isle of Wight. 9am - 4pm

Following updated guidance from the JCVI this week, the NHS will shortly set out how staff will expand the booster programme – this will include how booster jabs will be given in priority order so that the most vulnerable people are protected first, while also increasing capacity to vaccinate millions more people in a shorter space of time. As people wait to be contacted, NHS teams are working to provide additional capacity across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Dr Matt Nisbet, Clinical Lead for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said:

“The NHS is working at extreme pace to respond to this new variant. The latest national guidance advises reducing interval between a second dose and a booster dose to three months and as new capacity comes online we will be inviting people in accordance with this, in order of vulnerability. For now, if you are over 40 and it is six months since your second dose you can attend one of our “booster buses” to maximise your protection against the virus.”

Jane Ansell, Senior Responsible Officer for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said:

“Teams across Hampshire and Isle of Wight continue to do all they can to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are delighted to be able to offer eligible people the choice of attending one of our mobile booster buses, offering greater access to the vaccine. This could not be achieved without the incredible support of our partners and volunteers.”

More than 3.1million vaccines have been delivered across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System (ICS) footprint since the launch of the COVID-19 vaccination programme almost 12 months ago.