Truck drivers and other transportation and logistics personnel are now in the third group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, only behind other frontline essential workers. The recommendation was made following a meeting of a federal advisory board on Sunday, Dec. 20.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices placed truckers in Phase 1c, based on the group attempting to find a balance between preventing deaths and preserving a functioning society.
In the first group, Phase 1a, are people in long-term care facilities and healthcare personnel. This group has already started receiving the vaccine from the first vaccine shipments that went out last week.
The second group, Phase 1b, consists of people 75 years old and older, and “frontline essential workers.”
Phase 1c, the third group that includes truck drivers, includes people 65-74 years old, those between 16 and 64 with high-risk medical conditions, and “other essential workers.”
Workers considered “frontline essential workers” in Phase 1b include first responders, teachers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and others. In the “other essential workers” group are transportation and logistics workers, food service workers and others.
The American Trucking Associations had 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.”