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Vaccination in a box

19 January 2021

Vaccination in a box

The coronavirus vaccine programme is the largest operation of its kind in British history. The aim is to immunise at least 2 million people per week at more than 2,700 sites across the UK.

Locations include hospitals, pharmacies, stadiums, airports – there’s even one at JCB’s Compact Products plant in Cheadle.

It’s a massive effort involving a lot of people and equipment, and many temporary facilities are also being created to meet the challenge.

One of the many companies involved is Mobile Mini, the hirer of secure containers and site accommodation. It can adapt units for use as doctor’s surgeries, treatment centres, waiting areas, chilled rooms and storage facilities.

I reported last June on the company’s sterling efforts in helping to equip NHS drive-through testing centres and it is now meeting demand for the vaccine rollout as well.

“We’ve supplied a number of units as vaccination centres, including one at Teesside Airport,” managing director Andrew Thompson tells me.

“We’ve also installed them at supermarket sites where retail franchises inside the stores have been closed due to the pandemic and are being used as vaccination points. Our units are storing all the retail stock safely until they re-open.”

Mobile Mini has also provided units to schools as temporary coronavirus testing facilities to ensure that pupils are safe to return to classes.

“We recently approved another £11m of fleet investment,” says Andrew. “Trying to get hold of containers now is becoming more difficult with the extra demand from international shipping companies, but we have to support our customers at this time.

“We’ve actually had the best start to any year in our history and the momentum from 2020 has continued. We are currently 100% up on this period last year, and our core non-Covid business is 32% ahead, showing there is much general activity.

“It never ceases to amaze me how many uses there are for what some might see as a boring metal box,” says Andrew.

Vaccination in a box


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