Veezu, the UK’s largest taxi and private hire vehicle operator, is offering free rides to help roll out the Covid-19 vaccine to elderly and vulnerable patients across the country and to help minimise vaccines being thrown away because of missed appointments.

GP practices are taking their first steps in the process to tackle the pandemic by vaccinating the elderly and vulnerable in the local community.

V Cars are working with participating GP practices across Bath, Bristol, Chippenham and Swindon to offer rides only to those eligible persons who have been invited to make a vaccination appointment, if they have no other means of transport.

Similarly, Dragon Taxis will be supporting communities in Bridgend, Cardiff, Newport and Torfaen, while Go Carz are working with Teldoc practices to support the elderly and vulnerable of Telford.

The Veezu regional hubs’ offer provides a Covid-safe private hire journey to the vaccination centre, and the patient has the option to book a safe journey home too.

For ease, the telephone operators at the participating GP surgeries will co-ordinate the free journey with their respective taxi operator’s dispatch centre using a dedicated web-based booking system. The system is designed to ensure that only the eligible persons who need it get access to the free rides.

The gesture of goodwill will benefit the elderly and vulnerable who, without Veezu’s help, may have had their vaccination delayed.

Nathan Bowles, CEO at Veezu, said: “We are proud to be able to assist the first wave of people in Telford, South Wales and the South West to get their vaccinations during the first few weeks of the rollout.

“There are reductions in public transport services, and due to the restrictions, family members or friends are unable to provide a lift to those who have no other means of transport. This offer provides a safe transport option to those who need it most.

“There is now a big focus on the availability of vaccines and we can help minimise the vaccination doses being thrown away due to missed appointments. With reports of GPs making a reserve list of patients to get last minute COVID jabs, we know the use of private hire vehicles can help ensure patients arrive promptly and safely at vaccination centres. Basically, we are doing what we can to help our local communities beat COVID.”

Private hire vehicles continue to play a vital role in the community, and this is not the first time Veezu has assisted communities through COVID.

Veezu was one of the first transport operators to introduce additional health and hygiene measures in 2020 to make journeys as safe as possible for all passengers and driver-partners. The measures, designed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, include specialist cleaning regimes, in-vehicle protective screens, the wearing of face coverings and passengers sitting in the rear of the vehicle.

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