Middlesbrough FC bus turned into a pop-up Covid jab centre

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image captionNo appointment needed at Boro Bus pop-up vaccination site

Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation's bus has been converted into a vaccine centre to encourage more young people to get a Covid jab.

It is offering appointment-free slots on Tuesday and Wednesday to try to lower Redcar and Cleveland's virus rates, which are the highest in the UK.

The charity's bus has been parked up at the Asda store in Skelton in a bid to attract as many under 40s as possible.

Across the borough there are 18,500 adults who have not had a single jab.

Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council Mary Lanigan said: "What the young people have got to understand - and what we've got in East Cleveland with the 18 to 39-year-olds - [is that] there's only 50% that have had a vaccination.

"If they want to go on holiday and want to go to nightclubs and if they want their lives back to normal, then this is the way to do it.

"Let's get the vaccinations done."

image captionThe aim of the bus is to attract people aged under 40 with busy lives to pop along

Throughout Tuesday there was a steady queue of people taking up the offer of a jab outside Asda.

Redcar and Cleveland's director of communities and health, Frances Anderson, said: "I think sometimes having to book an appointment, having to fit it in with the rest of your responsibilities and family and work can be a bit restraining, so having 'pop-up' vaccine sites are really helpful for people in terms of accessibility."

image captionIn East Cleveland only half of the 18 to 39-year-olds have had a vaccination

The bus will move to Redcar High Street on Wednesday when it will be open between 09:00 and 19:00 BST.

The "grab a jab" days have been organised by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with the Boro bus being converted by Redcar and Cleveland Council.

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