Residents in the Highlands awaiting their Covid vaccine will soon be visited by a friendly, neighbourhood “Jabbernaut”.
Highland Council has built a custom-made mobile vaccine unit to help staff deliver vaccinations across some of the more remote areas.
The purpose-built vehicle has been named the Jabbernaut (and no it’s not a giant needle-wielding robot).
It is a lorry that will be staffed by NHS Highland vaccinators, with custom-built rooms for the vaccines to be carried out safely.
Council transport and housing maintenance staff procured and built the unit themselves, with help from local business the Cairngorm Group.
Councillor Allan Henderson, chairman of the local authority’s communities and place committee, praised the effort put into to service those living in the Highlands.
He said: “I commend council staff for their creativity and very positive approach to partnership working with NHS Highland to create the Jabbernaut and I thank the Cairngorm Group for their very generous donations of new windows and doors for the build.
“The Jabbernaut will help enable NHS staff to deliver their vaccination programme across Highland regardless of location.”
The vehicle consists of a unit and a 40ft box trailer that was kitted out and constructed into a vaccination centre.
Dr Boyd Peters, medical director for NHS Highland, thanked the council for helping them progress the vaccination programme.
He said: “The Highland Council teams have really understood our needs and what we require in order to deliver vaccines to the population.
“The vaccination programme in NHS Highland continues to progress well and with the introduction of the Jabbernaut I look forward to seeing that progress continue.”
Vaccinations in the Jabbernaut will be by appointment only.
Chris Dowling, joint managing director of Cairngroup Group added: “It’s been well publicised that our best way out of this pandemic is through the vaccine programme so we are delighted to be able to play our part in help making this happen.
“The geography of the Highlands has always meant we would need a bespoke approach compared to other parts of the country so the staff at both NHS Highland and Highland Council should be applauded for their forward-thinking.”
Staff at the health board were consulted for the design of the Jabbernaut and helped to decide what it looked like inside.
Mike Cooper, Highland Council’s transport and logistics manager added: “Council staff are very pleased to be able to respond to NHS Highland’s need for a mobile vaccination unit.
“We did this in consultation with NHS Highland’s staff to understand what was required for their design specification.”
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