CDC must make vaccine easily accessible to truckers, OOIDA says
February 3, 2021
•Land Line Staff
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association wants truck drivers seeking a COVID-19 vaccine to be made a priority and to have easy access to the inoculation.
In a letter sent on Feb. 1 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, OOIDA requested that truck drivers’ hectic work schedules be kept in mind.
“Truck drivers face distinct challenges when it comes to accessing healthcare and particularly anything related to COVID-19,” OOIDA wrote. “On average our members spend more than 200 days away from home each year.
“Our members are concerned about how they will gain access to COVID-19 vaccinations while continuing to work. It will likely be logistically difficult and economically disruptive. Few truckers know precisely where they will be from week to week, making it difficult to return home for shots and often impossible to predict where they may be located when it’s time for a second booster.”
OOIDA said that even the truckers who are capable of getting vaccinated while they work will likely have difficulties accessing vaccination sites with a commercial motor vehicle.
“Providing vaccinations, preferably one-time dosages at the already available truck stop clinics or rest areas throughout the country, would be a viable solution to ensuring essential workers in the trucking industry are receiving the protection they need,” OOIDA wrote.
Over the past year, lawmakers and government officials have heaped praise on truck drivers, referring to them as heroes and essential workers.
OOIDA said it would like to see the kind words turned into tangible ways that help the men and women who haul essential goods across the nation.
“While truckers certainly appreciate the thanks that officials and the public have heaped on them for their work, that doesn’t protect them from the health risks they continually face,” OOIDA wrote. “Truck drivers have their own health on the line to get the job done. Please make truck drivers a priority in distributing the vaccine and make it available where they can access it easily.” LL