Coronavirus: Clark County agencies line up free transportation to vaccine clinic

A man gets on a SCAT bus at the bus center in downtown Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

caption arrowCaption
A man gets on a SCAT bus at the bus center in downtown Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Several local agencies in Clark County are partnering to provide free transportation to the coronavirus vaccine clinic at the Upper Valley Mall.

Those agencies include the Clark County Combined Health District, the Clark County Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee (TCC) and the Springfield Area Transit Authority (SCAT).

“We have a number of people in our community who wish to receive the vaccine, but have no means of transportation,” said Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson.

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“By partnering with TCC and SCAT, we hope to eliminate this barrier for area residents so they can receive their vaccine,” he said.

In addition to transportation, Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Clark County and the Clark County Combined Health District will be partnering to provide funding for the effort.

Each organization will provide an initial $5,000 to cover rides, including those coming from SCAT’s Dial-A-Ride service. That service is usually $4 per one-way trip.

The health district is using money to pay those costs from the CARES Act passed last year.

Emma Smales, the health planning supervisor for the health district, said they are using services already provided by SCAT in Springfield and will simply cover the costs of those rides along with OIC.

The health district will also use volunteers and several vehicles loaned to them to provide rides for those living outside of the city.

The goal is to eliminate barriers that some may have in accessing the vaccine, including access to transportation, Smales said.

“We are looking at ways to make it as easy as possible for people to get,” she said regarding vaccination efforts in the area.

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It is also part of a major push to get the community vaccinated. The partnership for free transportation formed recently and those services are now available.

Residents may arrange for transportation after they make their vaccination appointment with the health district. Those residing in Springfield can call 937-328-7228 to schedule a ride with SCAT.

Those living outside the city can arrange for transportation to the vaccine clinic by contacting the health district by calling 937-717-2440.

Free transportation services will be available to residents with vaccine appointments any time the clinic is open, which is Tuesday through Thursday.

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