A call for increased transportation and notification for COVID-19 vaccinations

Transportation issues to get COVID-19 vaccine

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - On Thursday Parker High School will open as a mass drive through vaccination site. Today, WBRC Fox6 News learned it looks like an expanded transportation system plan will not be in place to help people get to the site.

Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson wanted to have that plan in place to help people who have transportation issues to get to vaccinations sites. It doesn’t look like that plan will be ready for Thursday, but Tyson hopes to have it up and running in the future.

Bonney Nipper is 64 years old and has several health issues. He depends on public transportation to get around Birmingham.

“That is the only way I got to get around. I’m debating whether to get my driver license back or not, ” Nipper said.

Nipper has yet to sign up to get a COVID-19 vaccine but he plans to do so. Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson presented her plan to expand transportation services to vaccination sites to the county commission Tuesday. She has been hearing complaints from people in the community.

“That’s way I know transportation is a problem and the way they are dividing the vaccine is a big issue in the black and brown community,” Tyson said.

Tyson’s report also calls for more outreach in the neighborhoods and help for signing people up for the vaccine. The commissioner believed many older and low income persons are being excluded from the process. “Don’t assume we don’t want the shots. Educate us. Make them available to us. Give us a choice and that is not what they are doing,” Tyson said.

Nipper, who hopes to get a vaccine shot soon, said there should be more effort to get people those shots.

“I think the elderly, those who can’t get around on the buses. They have a hard time getting around on buses they should help them out,” Nipper said.

Tyson planned to meet with Jefferson County Department of Health and UAB later this week about possible changes to vaccination process including transportation issues and looking at more help for registering people, getting them to the sites.

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