LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The CDC says the vast majority of COVID-related deaths -- 80% -- have been among people 65 or older. But it’s this same population that sometimes faces mobility or transportation issues.
And now that vaccinations are underway for at-risk elders, some are having trouble getting to those sites.
Nevada Senior Services is opening their own small-scale vaccine sites for Nevada's most vulnerable seniors, aiming for a launch on the first week of March.
We first introduced you to Holly Falcone two weeks ago.
A home caregiver to her elderly mother, she said she worries about the options local seniors have who are unable to attend mass vaccination sites due to transportation or medical issues.
"They can't get to any facility to stand in any line obviously if you're bed-bound. If you have heart conditions, diabetes,” said Falcone.
What about home visit vaccination programs?
Nevada Senior Services is trying to get home food delivery providers like "Meals on Wheels" to bring vaccines to people's homes.
Limited funding and availability is the only reason it hasn't happened yet, according to the nonprofit's president, Jeffrey Klein.
"I think there is advocacy trying to work towards it,” said Klein.
Their vaccine sites will take place at both their northwest Las Vegas and Henderson Adult Daycare Center locations.
He says even though the elderly are eligible for vaccines, not enough is being done to address the barriers some face to getting them.
"We’re getting at, what I would call, the tip of the iceberg. We’re getting at more of the younger — the more mobile, healthier seniors who can make appointments and get to sites and who are over 70 years old. And so when you think about it that way, we are getting to a portion of that population," said Klein.
But for our even more vulnerable, so people who are sick, people who have lots of chronic diseases, who may have early stages of a dementia, or may have a dementia and their family member they live with also has a dementia or is not well, for those people, it’s a pretty high mountain to climb and we’re just not reaching them at all," said Klein.
That's why his nonprofit, Nevada Senior Services, is taking matters into their own hands.
"We'll start out vaccinating 100 vulnerable seniors, people who otherwise would not have got their vaccine, and we will get them to come to Nevada Senior Services at Washington and Jones,” said Klein.
He said appointments will be prioritized for the most vulnerable seniors.
Unlike the current mass vaccinations sites, he said they will also help schedule and arrange transportation to the sites.
"For instance, someone who's on Medicaid as an example, is actually eligible for transportation, but someone has to help schedule it,” said Klein.
He said he’s also in conversations with Uber and Lyft about potential partnerships.
Separately, he said he hopes the familiarity and trusted reputation of his services will help to ease concerns over the vaccine.
"Having an organization that they already know… that's a really trusted resource, is just a magic bullet,” said Klein.
If you’re interested in driving vulnerable seniors back and forth to their appointments, please reach out to Nevada Senior Services, and they can point you in the right direction for volunteering. A phone number is on their website as well.
Klein said they'll soon announce how people can make appointments on their website and social media pages.