Teens to be given meningitis and tetanus jabs on ‘booster bus’

The converted bus will help deliver booster jabs to S4 to S6 pupils across Edinburgh.

Teens to be given meningitis and tetanus jabs on ‘booster bus’ iStock

A bus is being converted into a mobile vaccination clinic to give teenagers jabs for meningitis, polio, diphtheria and tetanus.

The teenage vaccination programme is usually run in schools during term time but the service was interrupted due to closures in 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

NHS Lothian has joined forces with Lothian Buses to provide a mobile vaccination hub to deliver teenage booster jabs to S4-S6 pupils across Edinburgh.

The health board said the summer clinics will ensure all school leavers have access to the important meningitis ACWY vaccination and to diphtheria, tetanus and polio boosters before they move from secondary school to higher education or employment.

Dona Milne, director of public health at NHS Lothian, said: “We are delighted to launch this new initiative, in partnership with Lothian Buses.

“Our school vaccination programme is critically important to the health and wellbeing of children and young people, by preventing the risk of transmission and illness from serious conditions like polio and meningitis.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the associated closure of schools had a significant impact on the vaccination programme, however we were determined that despite these challenges, we would ensure that those leaving school had access to their booster jabs.

“Through the booster bus, and the pop-up clinics in a number of our schools, we can ensure that these vital vaccinations can still be delivered.

“I would like to thank all of the NHS Lothian teams, Lothian Buses and the council education teams for their hard work and commitment to making this initiative happen.”

NHS Lothian said it has also worked closely with council education colleagues to secure access to a number of schools across Lothian throughout the holidays, where clinics will also be run.

Sarah Boyd, operations director at Lothian Buses, said: “We are delighted to support NHS Lothian with this special summer vaccination programme for S4-S6 pupils.

“Lothian Buses are fully committed to the local communities we serve and whilst this is a new pilot, it is one that we are really excited to be involved with.”

The “booster bus”, a converted Lothian Buses Airlink vehicle, will be located at Fort Kinnaird Retail Park on July 22, and at Napier University’s Sighthill campus on July 15 and 29.

NHS Lothian said young people eligible for the jabs have been contacted to arrange a suitable time for an appointment.

Younger pupils will be offered their booster jabs in school next year as part of the usual in-school Teenage Booster Programme.

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