The last ride of the Ústí vaccination bus: people waited in queues

Aleš Pelikán

The so-called “vaccine bus,” where people can come to get the vaccine against covid-19, left the Ústí nad Labem region for the last time on Tuesday.

About 15 people stood on the square in front of the municipal office in Petrovice, Ústí nad Labem, where the bus made its first stop, 20 minutes before 2 pm on Tuesday. By 2 pm, the queue had doubled in the village, which lies right on the border with Germany.

The most frequent question from those arriving was whether they had to fill in any documents. When they heard that they did, they all dutifully took the questionnaire to fill out. “We arrived early; we have to prepare everything,” Věra Sloupová, who was driving the vaccination bus, said. Those interested could choose from three types of vaccines.

People arrived in Petrovice from different parts of the region. “I came from Háj pod Klínovcem; I want to be healthy,” a senior citizen who came for the third dose mentioned. “I don’t want to be tested over and over again, and now I have to pay for it on top of that. That’s why I came,” said a middle-aged woman in the queue who came from Chlumec.

A minority of local people came. “People here are divided into two camps, like everywhere else, and some want to, others don’t, the vaccination rate is like the whole region, we are nothing special,” Andrea Kortanová, the mayor of the village, said.

People were waiting impatiently for the bus in Trmice, Ústí nad Labem. The bus finally arrived there late, also because of delays in Petrovice.

Since September, the vaccine bus has been traveling around the municipalities in the Ústí nad Labem Region, based on an agreement with local authorities. The aim was to bring vaccination closer to people in places far from large vaccination centers.

By last week, the vaccine bus staff had vaccinated about a thousand people, and interest has been growing recently.

“We’ll see if we renew it, but it’s over for these days. The interest in vaccination is great. On Monday, there were large queues at the vaccine bus in the villages in the Lounsko region. Over 280 people were vaccinated there, and that is a vast number, ” Jana Mrákotová, spokesperson for the Regional Health Authority, stated.

Due to the high demand, the Regional Health Authority is now strengthening the capacity of vaccination teams in all seven of its hospitals. Teams are also being supported to visit homes for the elderly. The opening hours of the vaccination centers are also being extended.