Trucking trade groups and several U.S. fleets are urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow truck stops and travel plazas to offer vaccinations to drivers passing through.
NATSO, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Truckload Carriers Association, National Private Truck Council, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, and the Tank Truck Carriers co-signed a letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
“From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, our industries have been directly involved in the fight against this pandemic,” the letter states. “Truck stops and travel plazas serve as the home away from home for the nation’s 3 million professional truck drivers.”
In the letter, the groups also pointed out truckers are generally unable to access many facilities, including medical sites, while driving a Class 8 vehicle. Additionally, they suggested truck drivers should be able to receive a vaccine in a state other than the one in which they reside due to their long stretches of time away from home. Also, the coalition stated truckers should be able to get their second vaccine at a different truck stop than their first injection, as it would be unlikely they would have the ability to return to the first location on a specific date.
“We cannot expect drivers — some of whom are actively transporting the vaccine — to return to their home domicile in order to receive the vaccine,” said Dan Horvath, vice president of safety policy for ATA. “Removing the red tape and using truck stops and travel plazas as mobile distribution sites exclusively for our industry will assist in making the vaccine available for those who choose to receive it.”