TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Starting March 15, Elder Care Services will help seniors 60 and older can get picked up from their homes and dropped off for their vaccine using its Seniors Transporting At Risk Seniors (STARS) program.
CEO of Elder Care Services Jocelyne Fliger said they already have around 90 seniors interested.
The organization wants to make sure that transportation will not be a barrier that keeps anyone from being vaccinated.
"We were seeing a lot of our clients that did not have transportation or could not leave their homes and they were getting overlooked in the vaccination plan," said Fliger. "And so we wanted to partner with someone in the community that was able to provide those vaccines for our clients and then we now have our volunteers back in place that can provide those rides."
Currently, 88 seniors have indicated their willingness to get vaccines at the 1800 Wahnish Way location. Seniors will be transported individually by volunteers who have been vaccinated.
“We are thrilled to be working with Elder Care Services to make sure we are reaching all individuals who want the vaccine,” said Tanya Tatum, FAMU Student Health Services director. “Elder Care has a unique relationship with this population, and we want to ensure that those individuals are getting vaccinated.”
Some of those being transported by Elder Care are shut-ins and may need assistance getting into the Lawson Center. Staff will provide wheelchair assistance to transport them from their vehicle into and out of the vaccination site, Tatum said.
“We are prepared to do whatever we need to do to serve them,” she said.
The Lawson Center site, which began operating on Feb. 25, initially was open to residents who are 65 and over, health care workers with direct patient contact and residents of long-term care facilities and staff. Since then, it has expanded to serve K-12 employees, law enforcement officers and firefighters age 50 and over and the medically vulnerable.
Established by the Florida Division of Emergency Management and with technical support from CDR Maguire Health & Medical, the site operates from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., seven days a week. Staff will distribute up to 200 Moderna vaccine doses daily.
Those visiting the free vaccination site are asked to bring an ID to verify their date of birth and place of employment. The site was opened as the state sought to ramp up vaccine operations and combat growing vaccine hesitancy and skepticism among African Americans and other communities of color. Those seeking to be vaccinated can register online at https://commvax.patientportalfl.com; however, online pre-registration is not required.
If you are 60 and older or know someone who is that needs a ride, all you have to do is give Elder Care Services a call at (850) 921-5554.