Pitt Area Transit among state groups to provide rides to, from COVID-19 vaccine sites through state funding


RALEIGH — The NC Department of Transportation and the NC Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday approximately $2.5 million in funding for local transit agencies to help pay for rides to and from COVID-19 vaccine sites.

NCDHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen, MD., announced the news in her Thursday press conference. The Coronavirus Relief Funding will be distributed to local transit agencies across the state to help pay for rides for individuals who need transportation assistance to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The above link highlights those agencies and provides website links for more details, including phone numbers of the agencies.

“Every North Carolinian has a spot and needs to get their shot,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “As vaccine supply increases, we are deploying every resource to make sure people have access and are not held back by barriers like lack of transportation.”

Pitt Area Transit is among the organizations in the state that will be participating.

“If transportation is a barrier, we certainly want to assist where that will not be a barrier to someone getting the vaccine,” said PATS Director Cam Coburn.

“We will provide the transportation in a coordinated appointment fashion in conjunction with our friends at emergency management, public health and Vidant in the efforts that begin next week at the convention center.”

Officials said each local transit agency will receive a set amount of funding, and the initiative will continue until funds are exhausted for that agency. The funds can be used to offset operating costs associated with transit rides to and from vaccination sites for people who are receiving or assisting someone in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is everybody’s business and every organization has something they can do to help,” said DOT Secretary J. Eric Boyette. “We are committed to doing everything we can to help get North Carolinians vaccinated as quickly and easily as possible.”

“Partnerships like this are crucial to make it possible for everyone to be able to take their shot when it’s their spot,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD.

People who need transportation assistance to a COVID-19 vaccine should reach out to their local transit agency. You can find your local transit agency online at NC_public_transit.pdf (ncdot.gov). Local transit agencies serve all 100 North Carolina counties. 

“My understanding is that we will be able to file reimbursement for transports that are taken to the vaccination sites,” Coburn said.

Some vaccine locations are providing the vaccine by appointment only. For a list of vaccine providers by county, visit YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available per the state’s rollout plan and free of charge, regardless of access to health insurance or legal status. As the vaccine rollout moves to next phases, those within earlier prioritization groups will remain eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The vaccine prioritization is designed to save lives and prevent spread while vaccine supplies are limited. Everyone has a spot, and you can find yours at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.

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