APTA highlights COVID-19 vaccine access initiatives

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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is touting the varied efforts of public transportation agencies nationwide to aid the process of helping people gain access to COVID-19 vaccination sites.

The initiatives have been made possible because of federal emergency funding provided to the public transit industry. As more vaccines become available, public transit agencies across the country would need to be flexible and creative in accommodating riders while also practicing safety protocols such as social distancing.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), CA, took nurses, medical technicians, and volunteers organized by the Orange County Health Care Agency to a senior center to help administer the vaccine in late January – adding OCTA is working with Orange County health officials and emergency operations personnel to get medical workers from the Disneyland super site for vaccination distributions to smaller sites throughout the county.

“OCTA men and women always stand ready to assist our community in responding to emergencies, whether fires, floods, or this public health
crisis,” OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson said. “We thank our drivers and the health workers for safely delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to the most vulnerable residents in the county.”

Additionally, APTA cited the work of South Carolina’s Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET), which is transporting local residents to major vaccination sites without charge.

“There are people in our community who are most affected by the ravages of COVID-19— especially older adults, the disabled, minorities, and the poor. The COMET family of services is here to help,” The Comet Executive Director and CEO John Andoh said.