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BUSIT to your vaccination for free - Waikato Regional Council

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Waikato residents can get a free bus ride to and from their COVID-19 vaccination appointments from tomorrow (Wednesday, 29 September).

With the support of the Waikato District Health Board and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Waikato Regional Council is offering free public transport to help residents and their caregivers or dependents attend vaccine appointments and return home afterwards.

Vaccinations are happening at a range of sites, including GP practices, community vaccination centres and pharmacies.

To travel for free on any regional or city bus, passengers simply show the bus driver their appointment letter or text confirmation on their mobile phone.

Drivers will check that the appointment is dated for the day of travel only.

Waikato regional councillor and Regional Transport Connections Committee Chair Angela Strange said, "For some people, it’s become clear that one thing holding them back from getting a vaccination is the ease of getting to and from appointments.

"We’re thrilled to be able to remove this barrier by making bus travel free for people going to and from their appointment," Cr Strange said.

Waikato DHB Chief Executive Dr Kevin Snee said the initiative highlighted the programme’s emphasis on partnership to reach all communities across the Waikato.

"Our community and primary health providers are working alongside us, creating the opportunity for people to be vaccinated. We also need to look at barriers, like travel costs, that may prevent people from taking up the opportunity. It’s wonderful to have Waikato Regional Council’s support with this.

"Getting the people of the Waikato vaccinated in the large numbers targeted is a major undertaking that needs everyone working together."

Dr Snee urged people to get their first vaccination now so they could be fully vaccinated by Christmas.

"We all want to get back to doing the things we love over summer and to avoid more lockdowns. Getting fully vaccinated is our best line of defence against COVID-19," he said.

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