BUFFALO, WV (WOWK) — When it comes to getting the COVID-19 vaccine the barrier for some is transportation. Wednesday Putnam Aging received a boost to its outreach efforts.
The keys to a new red van are the product of a partnership between AARP and Toyota aimed at providing essential services to underserved communities. Those services include transportation to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
“We want to try to eliminate any barriers there might be for folks getting the vaccine,” said Gaylene Miller, State Director of the West Virginia AARP.
Putnam Aging covers the entire county.
“There is no public transportation in Putnam County,” explained Jenni Sutherland, Putnam Aging’s Executive Director. “We don’t have the bus line and the taxi system that they have in the larger towns like Huntington and Charleston. A lot of folks in Putnam County who don’t have their own vehicle are very limited in their choices for how to get places.”
Putnam Aging’s current fleet is made up of older vehicles with thousands of miles on them. Leaders say they are thankful for the new van and the better gas mileage. The savings could allow them to do even more. Even though seniors are their focus the van will be available to anyone who needs to be vaccinated.
“We typically cater to those 60 and older but for this vaccination effort we will be transporting anyone in Putnam County of any age,” Sutherland said.
For more information on how to schedule a ride to get a COVID-19 vaccine, you can call 304-755-2385.