A DUDLEY Labour councillor is claiming victory in his fight to help vulnerable and elderly people get to the area’s vaccination centres.

Shaukat Ali says his calls for a volunteer system to help transport people to centres who could not get their otherwise were originally met with scepticism, but now official advice on how to do it has been issued.

He says that after a long set of email exchanges with the Dudley Council Leader, the Chief Executive and the Director of Public Health, advice is now available to people who want to volunteer.

Aimed at volunteers, family members and taxi drivers, the advice on how to safely transport people to their vaccination appointments includes:

Ensuring that there is good ventilation in the car by opening windows

That passengers sit behind the driver on the left

Seatbelt buckles and handles are wiped down after use with a chlorine based detergents

Masks must be worn throughout the journey

Using hand sanitiser and hand washing regularly

Councillor Ali complained of ‘dither’ at the start but says he is pleased that ‘common sense’ has prevailed.

“Vulnerable members of the community living on their own, not having family or friends nearby, lacking their own transport or unable to travel on public transport should not be seen as a barrier to getting vaccinated.

“Vaccination is absolutely vital to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect people from this infectious virus.”

He praised all those volunteers who have “gone over and beyond the call of duty ever since the first lockdown helping vulnerable members of our community.”