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Seniors Get a Free Ride for Covid Shots

A Community Care Concepts and Kiwanis Transit Initiative

 

Seniors and those with mobility issues will have one less thing to worry about when booking their Covid-19 vaccines, thanks to a partnership between Community Care Concepts and Kiwanis Transit.

On March 15 the organizations began offering transportation to vaccine appointments free of charge in Woolwich, Wellesley and Wilmot.

Karla Rabidoux, Manager Community Programs at CCC said the program is being offered to anyone in the area and not just existing clients.

“We’re trying to make it easy to support the region, to support the covid shots to help protect the folks we serve and the residents in our community,” she said. “The rides are no charge and that’s really great because that’s just an added stress.”

Those needing to book a ride can contact either organization and workers will help place residents into the right program.

“What we’re looking to do is find the most fluid means of getting the person there that is the best support for them.”

Rabidoux says the program is using multiple types of rides, from previously existing transportation at CCC, rides with volunteers and even rides with care workers for those that need someone to assist them to, from and during their vaccine appointment.

Those needing wheelchair assistance will be provided rides through Kiwanis Transit.

“People have been calling in just really grateful and we’ve also had some calls from pharmacies and other outside partnerships,” Rabidoux says.

The program was started as both organizations recognized a need within vulnerable groups in the area for whom transportation is a roadblock to getting to their vaccine appointment.

“We recognize that access to clinics can be difficult, particularly for older adults and others with unique needs living in our rural communities,” says Cathy Harrington, Executive Director of CCC.

The organizations are only booking rides for those that have pre-existing vaccine appointments at this time and will not be booking the vaccine appointment itself.

“We are not at this point taking any responsibility to book the vaccines,” said Rabidoux. “If someone is trying to book it electronically and having trouble doing so, we have workers that will walk them through it.”

Currently the Region of Waterloo’s public health website is only booking vaccine appointments for seniors 80 years and older, or those in priority groups such as frontline health care workers.

After people in those groups fill out the online book forms they will be contacted in order to set up an appointment. Once a date and time for their first shot are received, they can contact either CCC or Kiwanis for a ride.

Rabidoux says appointments for the second shot, a booster which may be weeks or months after the first, will also be available and the program will run as long as there is a need for it.

“As long as there is uptake we’re more than willing to keep it going for them. We anticipate we’ll be doing it for a little while,” she said.

For those that are safe and feel comfortable going out during the pandemic, Rabidoux says CCC is also taking volunteer drivers. Those that want to start the process of signing up to volunteer can reach out to the agency.

Those with pre-booked appointments for vaccinations can book a ride by calling Community Care Concepts at 519-664-1900 or 1-855-664-1900 or Kiwanis Transit at 519-669-4533 or 1-800-461-1355.

“We’re thankful for the community and if there is anything unclear they can call our agency and we’d be happy to help,” Rabidoux said.

 

 

Written by Elizabeth Bate

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