Volunteers organize to drive seniors to COVID-19 vaccination appointments
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Dozens of volunteers across Windsor-Essex are ready to ensure all seniors have a ride to their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
The region’s first public vaccine clinic started Monday morning with seniors 80 years and older arriving at the WFCU Centre.
“We know that there’s a lot of seniors that are in need,” says Tanya Hughes
Hughes, a volunteer organizer and medical laboratory technician in Windsor, says she’s heard growing concern from low-income seniors about transportation to and from vaccine appointments.
“The community has waited long enough. It’s been about a year into this pandemic and we really need to get the vaccinations rolling, get everybody we can vaccinated so we can get our economy up and going and get our community up on its feet.”
Any senior in need of transportation to a vaccination appointment is encouraged to make arrangements online, through Facebook.
It’s a joint initiative made possible by two groups including Windsor Frontline Health Care Workers and Windsor-Essex Seniors Needing Assistance, a seniors advocacy group that began at the onset of the global pandemic.
“We just want you to know that we’re there when you have an appointment and you need a way to get there.”
Mark Jones tells CTV News his advocacy group has helped thousands of senior citizens across Windsor and Essex County navigate the pandemic and is prepared to do the same.
“You can’t expect these seniors to be able to do it on their own, especially if they don’t have any help and if they’re low income. They need a way of getting there.”
Hughes says her group is made up of about 30 volunteers and is prepared to meet safety concerns, “We are fully vaccinated. We do get rapid tested weekly sometimes several times a week so if there is an issue, we will work with the health unit.”
Last week, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) said plans for mobile or 'pop-up'-style vaccination clinics were in the works to ensure those with limited mobility are able to receive the vaccine.