A TRAIN will be bringing vaccines to the people.

A nine-coach train, called the Transvaco, will be crisscrossing the Eastern Cape to give the jab to residents of rural areas.

Transnet spokesman Ayanda Shezi said: “This is modelled on the Phelophepa health trains, which have been providing primary healthcare services to under-serviced areas across Mzansi for the past 27 years.

“This train, which has state-of-the art vaccine facilities including ultra low temperature vaccine fridges, was designed and built by Transnet’s manufacturing division, Transnet Engineering.

“The train can store up to 108 000 vials of different types of Covid-19 vaccines.”

Health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth said the train would start operating on Monday, 13 September. “It will make stops in different places, bringing relief to poor villagers who are often without basic health facilities. It will be stationed for two weeks in East London, Swartkops, Mdantsane, Alice, King Williams Town, Dutywa, Queenstown and Mthatha,” she said.

“The train came at the right time, as we are concerned about the low number of vaccinated people in rural areas, especially the Alfred Nzo and Joe Gqabi districts. Nelson Mandela Bay has 125 394 vaccinated people, followed by Buffalo City with 76 484. OR Tambo District leads the rural areas with 78 508 vaccinated people while Alfred Nzo stands at 45 979 and Joe Gqabi is worst performing with 33 398 vaccinated people.”

Shezi said Transvco has nine coaches with two accommodation coaches, a kitchen, a dining area, storage facilities, a security coach, a power car and a vaccination coach with consulting rooms.