Horry County Council on Aging to provide rides for seniors to get COVID-19 vaccine

Horry County Council on Aging to help those 70 and older get COVID-19 vaccines

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - As vaccines become available for seniors, one local nonprofit is doing what it can to make sure seniors can easily get the vaccine.

The Horry County Council on Aging has been using its distribution center to make sure seniors have access to regular meals throughout this pandemic.

Now, they plan on doing their part to make sure seniors have access to this vaccine. This comes after the Department of Health and Environmental Control announced that people who are 70 years and older can get the vaccine and start making appointments on Wednesday.

RELATED COVERAGE | DHEC: 70 and older can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting Wednesday in S.C.

”This is not a golden year,” said Horry County Council on Aging Executive Director Elaine Gore.

Gore spends her days trying to make the golden years as bright as possible for senior citizens.

A lot of that is typically done through activities at the several senior centers spread throughout Horry County.

“We had to close our senior centers from time to time, more than not,” said Gore. “Then, we went to ten folks at a time. You get the lottery ticket and get to go one time a week.”

With less active senior centers, the Horry County Council on Aging has shifted its focus to more meal distribution and more frequent free rides for seniors to see a doctor.

DHEC’s announcement on allowing those who are 70 and older to get the vaccine, has Gore optimistic. Especially with some of the questions, she’s been getting lately.

“When can we get the vaccine? We really want to get our life back,” said Gore.

Gore said she has already reached out to DHEC to see what the organization can do to help expedite the process.

Until she gets more information, the organization has found at least one way to help.

“If any senior gets that appointment and they need to go and they don’t have any transportation, even if they’re not a member, please call us. We’ll help alleviate this problem anyway we can,” Gore said.

Gore added that she’s called the DHEC Care Line so she can get an idea of what the appointment process is like to relay to the council’s members.

While she’s glad they’ve been able to help the senior community through this not so golden year, she’s looking forward to the day when they can help them smile a little more.

“We just got to get our lives back,” said Gore. “Get our seniors back to the senior center. Play some cards. Some bridge, some bingo, whatever we want to do. We’re looking forward to that day, and the vaccine is the first step in that direction.”

Gore said when the state case count gets down below 1,000, she’ll reopen the senior centers to 10 people at a time.

She’s hoping to have them totally reopened by the summertime when most seniors have had the chance to get vaccinated.

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