Industry group asks that truckers get priority for COVID vaccine

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A leading trucking industry advocacy group Tuesday, Dec. 1, called on elected and health care officials to give truck drivers and others in the supply chain priority once a COVID-19 vaccine is approved and ready for distribution.

The American Trucking Associations sent letters sent to the White House, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, President-elect Biden and the National Governors Association, asking that the trucking industry’s workforce be included in prioritized access pools along with other essential workers.

“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,” wrote ATA’s executive vice president for advocacy, Bill Sullivan. “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 letters cite the industry’s designation as essential by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, noting that more than 80% of U.S. communities rely exclusively on trucks to receive necessary goods.

Also on Tuesday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization and Practices voted 13-1 to give priority to health care workers and nursing home residents once a vaccine is approved and is distributed. The committee said the first doses of a coronavirus vaccine should be given to an estimated 21 million health-care workers and 3 million residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities.