GP's ‘Vaxi Taxi’ scheme lets people 'get their jab in a cab'
- Credit: PA/Yui Mok
“Vaccination looks like the light at the end of the tunnel,” says Dr Sharon Raymond, the GP behind the "Vaxi Taxi".
Dr Raymond, who grew up in Belsize Park, is director of the Covid Crisis Rescue Foundation, which was set up at the start of the pandemic to provide personal protective equipment to healthcare workers and patients.
It evolved to deliver urgent oximeters to patients, to promote early intervention, in collaboration with the NHS in London.
The Vaxi Taxi was born out of the desire to ensure people eligible for the vaccine do not miss out.
It ferries people to pop-up clinics, providing safe transport for those shielding or without access to private transport.
People can even "have the jab inside the cab", which can be helpful for those with disabilities, dementia, or other health conditions.
Clinics are popping up at homeless shelters, to include some of the most marginalised people in society.
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Dr Raymond said: “I grew up in Camden and Belsize Park and as a child I was always struck by seeing the suffering of local homeless [people] on the streets.
"The emphasis of my Covid Crisis Rescue Foundation is to address inequalities of health and the needs of the most underserved communities.”
She hopes to raise funds for a fleet of Vaxi Taxis up and down the country. The sheltered, heated vaccination sites, aim to create a "friendly atmosphere" in a non-clinical setting. The events are visible and "out in the open" to help dispel the myths.
Dr Raymond has been working with faith forums and leaders to spread the message, and said: “If we are thinking about each other, the more people who get the vaccine the safer we will all be."
In February 2021, Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE’s London regional director, said in a blog post: “Recent analysis by my team at PHE London has revealed that sadly ethnicity continues to be a major factor in the health outcomes of communities during the second wave of the pandemic. Deprivation is also a key factor.”