A “VACCINE van” is hitting the streets of south Essex to deliver Covid vaccinations to the community to boost uptake.

NHS bosses and Ford have teamed up to create a bespoke Covid-19 mobile vaccination unit aimed at helping the vulnerable who have faced barriers in accessing healthcare.

Vaccine uptake in south Essex has been noticeably lower in a number of communities.

These include those experiencing homelessness, ethnically diverse communities, travelling communities and unregistered patients.

The specially converted van will begin to travel across Essex from this month, visiting the grounds of churches, mosques and other community venues.


Mandy Dean, director of commercial Vehicles at Ford of Britain said: “Over the coming weeks, this Ford Transit will make some incredibly important journeys as a vaccination van.

“Working with the NHS and community leaders to deliver this brilliant scheme and bolster the exemplary vaccine rollout, has been a privilege. Full credit is due to our conversion partners at Venari Group, who continue to work with us to make thousands of life-saving vehicles for the emergency services every year.”

The NHS and partners across the Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership will liaise with community leaders and groups to fill pre-booked appointments to rally and vaccinate as many people from the local communities as possible.

Dr Smitesh Patel, clinical director at Benfleet Primary Care Network, Essex said: “Our goal of giving everyone an equal opportunity to receive this essential vaccine is now in closer reach, owing to the additional support from our valued network of community leaders, Ford and Venari Group.

“This added mobility has meant the gap will be bridged for so many facing a struggle to visit their local vaccination centre. With this support, we enter an important chapter of our vaccine rollout with a renewed sense of hope and optimism.”

Oliver North, CEO at Venari Group said; “We have worked closely with Ford and the NHS in Essex to create such an important vehicle.