Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is now in the hands of America’s logistics industry, including truckers who are delivering the millions of doses needed.
At the same time, truckers are in the third group of people in line to receive the vaccine designed to protect people from the coronavirus that has infected 19.5 million Americans, caused the deaths of 339,000 people in the U.S., thrown millions out of work and caused the economy to sputter. The surge that occurred after Thanksgiving is expected to soon repeat itself after families and others gathered for Christmas.
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.