'Jab cabs' should ferry unvaccinated to get Covid shots, Lib Dems say
Liberal Democrats call for free taxis for those unable to afford or access public transport to their nearest vaccination centre.
Free taxis should be available to ferry people who have not yet had a Covid-19 vaccination to their local clinic, the Liberal Democrats said.
The party’s plans include establishing a “vaccine tracing” service to track down people who have so far proved unwilling to receive a jab.
They would then receive a call from the NHS and be offered an appointment slot, with help to get there if required.
For those unable to afford or access public transport, that could mean free “jab cabs” to their nearest vaccination centre.
A similar approach is already being used in some parts of the country, including Manchester, but the Lib Dems want it to be a national policy.
Lib Dem health spokeswoman Daisy Cooper said: “The booster programme is critical to protecting us all against Omicron. But the Government needs to also step up efforts to persuade and support the unvaccinated to get their jabs, to protect themselves and the NHS in the longer term.”
She accused ministers of a “blame game” against the unvaccinated, which she said “risks being counterproductive and alienating communities whose trust in this government is already low”.
She said: “Our hospitals are already filling up largely with people who are unvaccinated. We can’t afford any more Government complacency.
“Around the country there are many local creative solutions that have been proven to work – now the Government needs to pull out all the stops to roll these out nationally.
“We need a national effort to contact all those who have not yet been vaccinated, offer them a jab, answer their questions and provide assistance with transport if needed.”
The Lib Dem plan would also see jabs offered to unvaccinated patients who attend any NHS appointment, including at GP surgeries, sexual health clinics, maternity units and hospitals.
A network of vaccine “community champions” across different faith and cultural communities would be expanded, alongside trained counsellors to answer questions from those who are hesitant about getting a jab.
More pop-up vaccine centres would also be established in areas with low levels of uptake.