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Metrolink offers free bus pass at COVID booster clinic

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 10:26 PM CST
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Moline, Illinois (KWQC) - On a bitingly cold day, there’s not as many people riding buses. But there’s still a few at Metrolink’s Centre Station in Moline for a different reason: COVID vaccinations.

“Centre Station is centrally located here in Moline and served by many of our public transit routes,” said Jennifer Hirsch, Manager of Administration at Metrolink. “So we encourage the riding public to just hop on a bus and come down here.”

This is the third walk-in clinic that the station has hosted in partnership with the State of Illinois and the Department of Public Health. Organizers see it as an extension of Metrolink’s mission to serve the public during the pandemic.

“We found that transit was very important, especially the March to May timeframe in 2020,” said Hirsch. “Yes, some people were staying at home, but many others were still having to get to work. We were taking that essential worker to a job.”

Metrolink’s clinic also sweetens the deal. Anyone who visited got a buss pass for free rides in February and a gift card to a restaurant in downtown Moline. The gifts seem effective. 60 people got a shot or booster Thursday, while the last clinic saw more than 150.

“Basically, however anyone chooses to get vaccinated, whatever benefit they may get is fine with me,” said Janet Hill, the Chief Operating Officer at Rock Island County Health Department. “Because I want them vaccinated.”

Even without free bus rides and food, there are plenty of reasons to get a booster.

“Omicron and Delta are everywhere at this point, and a booster is more likely to protect you from getting sick,” said Hill. “If you do get sick, it should be a very mild case. It should keep you out of the hospital.”

At this time, there aren’t plans for another clinic at Metrolink. But if you’re a frequent bus rider, keep an eye out.

“We’re certainly always here to open our doors to public health.” said Hirsch.

If you’re still looking for a COVID vaccination, Rock Island County Health Department offers frequent walk-in clinics. You can find more information on their website.

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