MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Independent Transportation Network Monterey County, also called iTNMontereyCounty, said it is offering free rides to seniors who need help getting to vaccine appointments.
Independent Transportation Network Monterey County, also called iTNMontereyCounty, said it is offering free rides to seniors who need help getting to vaccine appointments.
“I can’t think of a better way to get your vaccination if you need a ride than to use iTN,” said Dr. Bill Moy
Dr. Moy has used the Monterey service for three years. After trying it for the first time, it became his main mode of transportation. He uses it three times a week to go to the clinic, he said. Although he received his vaccination at Sunrise Villa in Salinas, he said he was happy to know they’re offering this program.
“I’m very glad that iTN will take you to and from any pharmacy or hospital that would provide the vaccines,” said Dr. Moy “That would be wonderful for the people of Salinas.”
The service is open to anybody over the age of 65. Executive Director Jessica McKillip said they understand transportation can be a barrier for people to get vaccinated.
“We're going to give rides to anyone who is qualified in the current system the county has delivered,” said McKillip. “So at this time we're saying anyone over the age of 65 is qualified. And then when we move to the next bracket it will be capped at anyone over the age of 55 or adults with visual impairments.”
Individuals must have a confirmed appointment before requesting transportation. It's important that anyone interested calls 24 hours in advance to ensure availability. “Because we do rely on volunteers, it's very important that we schedule the trips in advanced,” said McKillip.
iTNMontereyCounty offers a 24-hour dispatch service in English and Spanish. They were able to offer the service after a state disaster grant they received in 2019 that was extended.
On Wednesday, eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines in Monterey County expanded to include anyone aged 65 and older and those at risk of exposure while working in food, agriculture, childcare, education, or emergency services.
To get a ride, seniors can call 831-233-3447.