Photo Credit: Supplied

The BreadCrumbs Vaccination Bus initiative is helping people who struggle to get to vaccination sites, reach their appointments on time.


Johannesburg, South Africa (12 July 2021) – South Africa is now firmly in its third wave with the COVID-19 Delta variant spreading quicker than ever in provinces around the country. Currently hardest hit is Gauteng, making up the majority of daily infections, hospitalisations and deaths.

Vaccinations are the only solution to ending this pandemic, and both public and private sector vaccination sites have now boosted their site capacities to open up to anyone 50+ for walk-ins to encourage as many people to get vaccinated as possible.

BreadCrumbs, a Behavioural Linguistics company based in Joburg, have spent the past year dedicated to behavioural communication initiatives to encourage COVID-prevention behaviours with a focus on promoting vaccine adoption and reducing any vaccine hesitancy. 

Nudging intent and helping promote action

“We specialise in nudging positive action – both for people as individuals and for broader societal good. Without question, that means getting vaccinated when it’s your turn. We believe in the true power of behavioural communication in persuading people to get vaccinated – but; persuasion is simply not enough if people can’t access a vaccine site. People can have the best intentions in the world, but if there’s this type of friction point or barrier, intent is lost.” – Behavioural Linguist, Leigh Crymble, Founder of BreadCrumbs

With a strong belief that vaccinations cannot become a ‘luxury’ where people without means to get to a vaccine site are disadvantaged, BreadCrumbs decided to dedicate their resources towards helping solve this. The company began to offer free transport to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital for anyone living in surrounding areas to get both to and from this Joburg hospital – at no charge.

“It’s a phenomenal public vaccination site that continues to impress with its caring staff, streamlined processes and overall efficiency”, says Crymble.

“We started small, with only a handful of people joining us and have now expanded to 4 “Vaccine Buses” with all the appropriate distancing and safety precautions – every week. It’s still a drop in the ocean of numbers needed to get us all to safety. But, if we can be just one life boat in these metaphoric waves, it’s a big honour to know we helped as many people as possible to protect themselves”.

An added benefit through this vaccination initiative, adds Crymble, is linked to a behavioural principle known as social proofing.

“We are more likely to do what other people around us are doing, and after our first few trips, word of mouth started to help. Family members, friends, colleagues, staff of people who had joined us got in touch – with everyone eager to claim their vaccine!”

Community support to protect more lives

Crymble and her team accompany their “vaccination guests” to support them throughout the process.

“It can be quite intimidating to arrive at a medical site and navigate the queues and processes. We’re now old hands at this so we know exactly where to direct people so that the process is as quick and easy as possible. We help with the EVDS registration in advance to save time, too. Our aim is to reassure people who join us, as many of them feel a bit nervous and overwhelmed.”

“One of my favourite moments so far was with one of our guests, Molly. On the day of her 50th birthday, she registered on the EVDS and immediately joined us. She told me it was her birthday present to herself to get vaccinated.”

The initiative is now gaining traction with funding offers streaming in. A post by BreadCrumbs on Facebook caught the attention of the Craighall Residents’ Association (CRA) who made the quick decision to contribute to the transport costs to scale the vaccination initiative. CRA have since committed R15 000 to help with hiring multiple shuttles each week to ensure that more people get free access – directly from their home or place of work to Charlotte Maxeke.

“Thanks to this partnership with the CRA, we’ve been able to expand our Vaccine Bus initiative and offer our assistance to many more people – and we will continue to offer this free service as more age groups open up in the weeks/months to come’.

To find out more about the Vaccine Bus, or to book a spot for yourself or loved one, please contact 082 090 5640.

Sources: Press Release
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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