Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Elder Care Services, Inc. are collaborating to get more senior citizens to the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center vaccination site.
Beginning next week, Elder Care Services volunteers will drive individuals age 60 and over to the site using its Seniors Transporting At Risk Seniors (STARS) program.
Already 88 seniors have indicated their willingness to get the 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 Car 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.”
Elder Care Services, Inc. is a private non-profit corporation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for seniors in Leon and the surrounding counties, allowing them to remain at home with dignity. CEO/President Jocelyne Fliger plans to transport seniors on weekends.
“We have seen a need in the community before COVID for more transportation options, and that continues during this widespread vaccination effort,” Fliger said. “Elder Care is happy to coordinate transportation for seniors so they can get the vaccine and peace of mind.”
Interested seniors can call Elder Care Services at (850) 921-5554 to get more information about transportation or other support needed to receive the vaccine.
The Lawson Center site, which began operating on Feb. 25, initially was open to residents 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 fire fighters age 50 and over.
Beginning on Monday, March 15, those age 60 and over are eligible to be vaccinated at the location. 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.
Established by the Florida Division of Emergency Management and with technology support from CD 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.