King County Coordinated Vaccine Transportation Helpline

Friday, May 7, 2021

Sound Generations is a partner,
providing van transportation
Hopelink has launched the Coordinated Vaccine Transportation Helpline (425-943-6706) as a one-stop-shop for finding and securing transportation to and from vaccination sites in and around King County.

For many communities across King County, transportation is a constant barrier to getting to their doctor’s appointments, grocery stores and social gatherings. This barrier was made even more complex by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individuals – especially older adults, people with disabilities, people with limited English and members of the BIPOC community – faced some of the most significant barriers. As the COVID-19 vaccine began to roll out in January, it was clear that transportation continued to be an obstacle. Many of the populations most in need of the vaccine were unable to safely and reliably get to their vaccine appointment.

This need prompted Hopelink to think creatively on how to be part of the solution. In addition to launching the King County COVID Vaccine Mobility Task Force, Hopelink created the Coordinated Vaccine Transportation Helpline.

This Helpline is a one-stop-shop for finding and securing transportation support to and from vaccine appointments in and around King County. Individuals, caregivers, caseworkers, medical professionals, vaccine schedulers and others can receive individualized support for themselves or the rider they are helping through either an online intake form or by calling 425-943-6706 (press 5 for language assistance).

There is no eligibility criteria, and the ride is free in most circumstances.

This program aims to support communities that are the most vulnerable and need access to the vaccine sites; this includes BIPOC communities, seniors, immigrants, refugees and individuals with disabilities.

“We want to ensure transportation is not the barrier to accessing the vaccine in our community,” says Staci Sahoo, Director of Mobility Management at Hopelink.
 
The Helpline was launched in late February and is staffed by Hopelink team members who are bilingual in English/Spanish, and staff also have access to interpretation services at the time of the call. The Helpline reservation line is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 4pm. You can also leave a voicemail and get a callback.

The success of this Helpline is because of the incredible partnerships that were created. This includes Sound Generations (Hyde Shuttle and Volunteer Driver Program), Catholic Community Services of Western Washington (King County Volunteer Services), King County Metro (Access, Community Van, Crossroads Connect, Via to Transit), Snoqualmie Valley Transportation, Northshore Senior Center, Puget Sound Educational Service District, Hopelink’s Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, Lyft, and Uber. These partners have stepped up to provide transportation to vaccine appointments and provided them at no cost.

Hopelink is proud to partner with Public Health – Seattle and King County and many other organizations across King County to provide transportation for this critical resource. The Helpline will continue to support the community as long as there is a need, thanks to generous grant partners, including Washington State Department of Transportation and All in WA’s Vaccine Equity Initiative.

In 2020 Hopelink served nearly 65,000 people in King and Snohomish Counties. Services are designed to help individuals and families find stability in crisis by meeting basic needs for food, shelter, heat and transportation.



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