WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government is taking steps to help make it easier for people to get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

On Thursday, Health Minister Heather Stefanson announced that the province is partnering with United Way’s 211 Manitoba to help seniors and people with mobility issues find transportation services to take them to their vaccine appointments.

“Seniors can call a single number, no matter where they live in the province, to find out what transportation services might be available,” Stefanson said in the news release.

“This will help make the process simpler and easier, while providing a valuable service to Manitobans who need it, so they can get their vaccine and protect themselves against the COVID-19 virus.”

Beginning today, an eligible person with a confirmed vaccination appointment can call 211 with the date, time, and location of their appointment. The 211 navigators will then help them find available transportation options and connect them with transportation providers.

Manitobans will still have to cover the costs of the transportation services.

“For many people, knowing where to turn for help can be challenging and overwhelming. We know that 211 Manitoba provides a valuable service for Manitobans, especially during times of community crisis,” said Connie Walker, president and CEO of United Way Winnipeg.

“Now, seniors and others with mobility impairments can speak directly with a service navigator who will listen to their needs and work with them to identify transportation options and other resources in their community.”

Stefanson added the goal of the partnership is to reduce barriers to vaccine appointments.

The United Way 211 program provides information and referrals to community-based social, health, and government services.