Comanche Nation provides free rides to elders getting vaccinated

Updated: Jan. 11, 2021 at 6:02 PM CST
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COMANCHE COUNTY, Okla. (TNN) -The Comanche Nation is providing free transportation for anyone 65 and older wanting to get their COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, January 11th.

Comanche Nation Transit will be giving free rides to and from the vaccine appointments, no matter where you’re appointment is.

“We decided that this would be a great thing for our elders,” said Rebecca Tahchawwickah, safety coordinator/transit asset management for Comanche Nation Transit. “Those that do want to go get the shot. They need a way to get there, and often that is a big issue for a lot of people who are over 65.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Transit has had to make several changes, including how they make appointments to pick people up.

“We upped our sanitizing on our vehicles, the driver sanitizes every day in between pickups, they’ve ramped up their sanitizing,” said Tahchawwickah. “The way in which we had to start scheduling. We got really better about it, more seamless about it.”

The same goes for the rest of Comanche Nation’s campus.

“We check all temperatures for everybody that comes on campus,” said Sonya Liles Haden, Dir of CHR/EMS/Fire Program. “If they’re running a fever, unfortunately we do have to turn them away. Otherwise we try to handle everything by phone. Technology had to come into play big time around here.”

For employees, it’s not a requirement to get vaccinated, but those who choose to, there are several options for making an appointment.

“They have the option to get it at the Comanche county health department, Memorial for some, even our Lawton Indian Hospital,” said Liles Haden. “We did have some employees that were vaccinated during the first round, and then we have about 93 that are waiting to get vaccinated again on the 19th hopefully.”

Providing free rides for the elders to appointments was an idea that was prompted by the pandemic, but as Rebecca Tahchawwickah says, it’s not something that is out of character for the Comanche Nation.

“So we always want to find creative ways to help our community more and just be a staple for people to know, hey call us, we’ll see what we can do,” said Tahchawwickah. “We can get you a ride to where you’re going, the end goal is always mobility for all, and we want to keep that at the forefront.”

If you’re 65 and older and need a ride to or from your COVID-19 vaccination appointment, you can call Comanche Nation Transit’s dispatch number 580-492-3389, for free.

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