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City to cover cost of NRoute to take senior citizens, handicapped for vaccinations

Senior citizens and the handicapped in Vicksburg will be able to use NRoute, the city’s public transportation system, at no charge to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday approved a plan to pay NRoute $4 per person to cover the cost of taking senior citizens and the handicapped to a local doctor’s office or a drive-through vaccination site to get their shots.

“There should be no excuse for the elderly and handicapped to get to take this vaccine,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. “The city has partnered with NRoute to do so. We need it for these vulnerable adults who don’t have the means to go (to get the shots).”

No date has been set for the service to begin. 

NRoute Executive Director Evelyn Bumpers said Flaggs approached her Saturday about using the buses to take seniors and the handicapped living in the city to get their vaccinations.

She said seniors who want to get the vaccination should “if at all possible give us a five-day advance notice to be put on a schedule. If not, as soon as they get an appointment to give us a call so we can get them on a schedule.”

Bumpers said the schedule helps NRoute to design a route and make sure the system is complying with Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

Because of CDC guidelines and because people going to the vaccination stations will have to stay in their vehicle to receive the vaccination, Bumpers said the transportation system will probably use its vans and only two passengers will be allowed to ride at a time on the van, which has roll-down windows in the rear.

If the person is going to their doctor’s office for the vaccination they can use a van or ride an NRoute bus and be dropped off at their doctor’s office.

“We want everyone to be served,” Bumpers said. “We want to make sure we have the manpower and we have the vehicles and everybody can get where they need to be at the time they’re supposed to be.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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