Yukon vaccine van is ready to travel

Older adults in Yukon can get rides through Compassionate Hands

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Tom McCarley and Bud Kuykendall are drivers for the Yukon Compassionate Hands’ Care-A-Van service. The nonprofit ministry’s goal for its first “No-Bake Bake Sale” is to raise $2,000, which will run the accessible vans for six months. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Robert Medley
Managing Editor

As more vaccines for COVID-19 become available and older adults have been able to schedule appointments, people in Yukon have needed assistance to travel, said Joanne Riley, Executive Director of Compassionate Hands ministry.

The Yukon-based nonprofit provides transportation for older adults and disabled people who need to go on errands or to see doctors.

The need to get a ride to vaccine appointments has increased.

In Yukon, anyone who lives in the 73099 area code or within the Yukon Public Schools district, and is disabled or 55 years-old or older, can call for a ride to a vaccine appointment.

A woman who uses an electric scooter to get around needed a ride to her vaccine appointment last week, Riley said.

The Yukon woman’s appointment was in Mustang. Once the van driver got her there, healthcare workers at the vaccine clinic came to the van to give her the vaccine.

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Riley said people who need help getting in or out of a building should try to bring someone with them for assistance to appointments with doctor’s or to run errands.

“If they are not capable of getting in and out of the van they might need to bring someone to help them,” Riley said.

The woman who was assisted with the van ride recently got her first and second doses of the vaccine in Mustang with help from Compassionate Hands.

Riley said if someone gets a COVID-19 vaccine appointment scheduled and needs a ride to call Compassionate Hands right away.

Rides are available for seniors 55 and older and disabled people.

Compassionate Hands drivers are limited to travel in a 30-mile radius. Rides are available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Recent winter weather also was a challenge. But if Yukon Public Schools buses are not running due to weather, the Care-A-Van does not hit the roads either, Riley said.

On Tuesday morning, March 9, the State Department of Health reported there have been 1,007,817 total doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in the state. There have been 4,534 deaths in Oklahoma, and that includes 45 deaths in Yukon and 97 deaths in Canadian County, the health department reports.

To contact Compassionate Hands call (405) 354-9591.