Irish taxi driver shuttles elderly to and from Covid-19 vaccine appointments free of charge
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Irish taxi driver shuttles elderly to and from Covid-19 vaccine appointments free of charge

AN IRISH taxi driver has generously volunteered to take anyone over the age of 85 in Co. Wicklow to and from their Covid-19 vaccination appointments – completely free of charge.

Some elderly individuals are understandably concerned about using public transport as the pandemic wears on, and others simply have little or no accessible transport options, Paul Ryan, a taxi man from Greystones is giving the most vulnerable a safer alternative at no cost.

Mr. Ryan reassures passengers that his cab is kitted out with protective screens and that all the latest health guidelines are being followed.

In a Facebook post, the kind-hearted driver said: "With these hard times I would like to offer FREE Taxi to and from local vaccinations for any of our local over 85's who are finding it difficult to get transport please ring in advance to assure availability.

"My taxi is fitted with protective screens and follows all health and safety guidelines. If you know anyone who is in need of this service."

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The gesture has been taken up by other taxi services, including Free Now taxi company, which has allocated €250,000 to giving free lifts to anyone in need of lifts to vaccination centres across Ireland.

Passengers can claim back €20 for a maximum of two trips to or from a vaccination centre.

Since the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in the Republic of Ireland, over 200,000 people have been diagnosed in the State, and more than 4,000 people have died as a result of the respiratory disease.

As of February 22, 226,291 people in the Republic of Ireland had received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 133,325 had received their second dose.

Of those doses, 145,557 went to people in long-term residential care facilities, while 198,037 were administered to frontline healthcare workers and 15,921 were given to people over the age of 70.

Around the world, over 222 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have thus far been administered.

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In Ireland, people aged 85 and over are currently being offered the vaccine for free. The country has recently changed its vaccine strategy to better target those most at risk, including obese people and those with other comorbidities.

The HSE has confirmed that it will be vaccinating more groups as soon as possible and that you don’t need to register in advance, you will be contacted when it’s your turn.