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Buffalo independent living program helps seniors access the COVID-19 vaccine

So far, 35 people from throughout Erie County have been brought to LIFE's location on Villa Maria's Campus by Catholic Health to get their first Moderna dose.
Credit: Catholic Health

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Seniors are among the most vulnerable for COVID-19, but making and getting to a COVID-19 vaccine appointment can be an obstacle for many. 

Catholic Health says they're working to help seniors encountering this problem through its LIFE program. The healthcare network provides transportation to one of its own vaccine clinics. 

This week, Catholic Health's LIFE vaccine clinics begun, and more are anticipated in the future. So far, 35 people from throughout Erie County have been brought to LIFE's location on Villa Maria's Campus by Catholic Health to get their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

“There is no higher priority than ensuring our most vulnerable seniors are protected from COVID-19. We will continue to coordinate clinics for our participants at our two LIFE centers, working closely with our pharmacy partners to secure vaccines,” said John Beyer, president of Catholic Health’s LIFE program.

LIFE, which stands for Living Independently for Elders, is a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). There are 138 programs of this nature in 31 states, and Catholic Health's LIFE program typically offers transportation services and day programming for seniors. 

Participants of LIFE live independently and receive support from the program, which is funded by Medicare and Medicaid. Participants of the program are eligible for the vaccine clinics.

“While COVID-19 has impacted the way our program is run, it has also demonstrated our resiliency and increased potential for the future,” said Beyer. “We have continued to provide all the care and services necessary keep our participants safe in the community.” 

Catholic Health says you can call toll free at 1-855-671-3341, locally at (716) 819-5433, or TTY (716) 819-5227 to learn more about the LIFE program.