The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is calling for the trucking industry’s workforce to be prioritized along with other essential workers when it comes to establishing a national vaccine strategy.
The call emerged yesterday in a series of letters to the White House, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, President-elect Joe Biden, and the National Governors Association. And it focuses on the role the trucking industry will play in distributing the vaccine itself, reports Truck News.
“Our workforce represents a central and critical link in the nation’s supply chain and will play an essential role in the imminent Covid-19 vaccine distribution process,” says the letter signed by Bill Sullivan, ATA’s executive vice-president – advocacy. “As the trucking industry is called upon to deliver vaccines across the country, it is imperative that truck drivers have prioritized access to the vaccine to minimize the potential for supply chain delays and disruptions.”
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has advised provincial trucking associations to make similar requests in their respective jurisdictions as vaccine distribution is a provincial role.
“The federal government is procuring the vaccine, but they’re distributing to the provinces based on an allocation formula,” Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, told Truck News.
CTA is supporting calls to prioritize the elderly, those who already have the virus, frontline healthcare workers, and those who have pre-existing conditions that make them susceptible to Covid-19, he adds.
“We’re very sensitive, as an industry, to the needs of that first group.”
OTA, meanwhile, has formally asked Ontario, to include members of the trucking industry to be included in the next layer of those who are prioritized for the vaccine, Laskowski says.
Full story here.