WATCH: Public transit systems helping with state's vaccination efforts

Battle Creek Public Transit Service
Posted at 8:53 AM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 10:44:49-04

MICHIGAN — Public transit systems across the state have been helping in Michigan's COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Officials say they're focusing on marginalized populations, such as the homebound, disabled, unsheltered, unemployed, low-income, seniors and communities of color.

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"As COVID-19 vaccine supply increases and all Michigan residents 16 and older become eligible to receive the vaccine on April 5, it is time to take things to the next level," said Kerry Ebersole Singh, director of the Project Michigan Commission. "Michigan's partnership with public transit leaders, who have already been providing service to and from vaccine appointments, is a vital step to ensure vaccine equity and awareness across the state."

Buses and special transportation vehicles operated by transit systems across Michigan are available to take people who lack access to regular transportation to vaccination events and sites.

In some instances, they can also be equipped as mobile vaccine units that can transport vaccines to people.

For public education, some systems will use bus wraps, social media and other communications tools to help their riders and communities understand the safety and effectiveness of all three vaccines currently available in the U.S.

"Vaccine equity is absolutely essential to reaching community-wide protection against COVID-19," said Linda Vail, health officer with the Ingham County Health Department. "We all know that barriers exist within communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this virus, including transportation, so this partnership is key to breaking down those barriers and increasing vaccinations."