ORANGE – As the familiar blue-and-orange OC Bus pulled up to the Santa Ana senior center and the doors opened, the passengers who filed out were greeted with smiles, raised arms and even a few cheers.
These were not regular Orange County Transportation Authority bus passengers. These 12 passengers riding the bus were nurses, medical technicians and volunteers organized by the Orange County Health Care Agency who were being transported to the senior center to help administer the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
OCTA is working in coordination with Orange County health officials and emergency operations personnel to help get trained medical workers from the Disneyland super site for vaccination distributions to smaller sites throughout the county. Those targeted clinics are being set up to distribute the vaccine to vulnerable seniors age 65 years and older.
“As we address the challenges of the public health crisis, it’s vital that we all pull together and use our resources to help each other,” said OCTA Chairman Andrew Do, also the county’s First District Supervisor. “OCTA has delivered essential services throughout the pandemic and I’m proud to see the agency providing for the community in one more way.”
An OCTA bus transported the first group of medical workers to a Santa Ana senior center on Wednesday, Jan. 20. OCTA will continue to coordinate with the county to use additional buses as needed when more vaccination sites open.
“OCTA men and women always stand ready to assist our community respond to emergencies, whether fires, floods or this public health crisis,” said OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson. “We thank our drivers and the health workers for safely delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to the most vulnerable residents in the county.”
Orange County is currently administering the vaccine to people in Phase 1A, which includes essential medical workers and some of the people most at-risk of contracting COVID-19, including those 65 and older.
For more information on the vaccine and distribution plans, visit www.ochealthinfo.com.
The super sites and individual clinics in Orange County are only open to those people who have a confirmed appointment. For more information on who qualifies for receiving the vaccine or to make an appointment, visit www.othena.com.
About OCTA: The Orange County Transportation Authority is the county transportation planning commission, responsible for funding and implementing transit and capital projects for a balanced and sustainable transportation system that reflects the diverse travel needs of the county’s 34 cities and 3.2 million residents. With the mission of keeping Orange County moving, this includes freeways and express lanes, bus and rail transit, rideshare, commuter rail, environmental programs and active transportation.