NATSO, along with a coalition representing trucking fleets and truck drivers in need urged the Centers for Disease Control to designate truckstops and travel plazas as mobile vaccination sites to leverage existing truckstop locations for the distribution of vaccines to professional truck drivers and truckstop employees.
In a letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, the groups said the very nature of the trucking, truckstop and travel plaza industries allows a unique opportunity to have an immediate and meaningful impact on the distribution of vaccines to essential truckstop employees and truck drivers.
“By administering vaccines through our nationwide network of locations, we can ensure the ability of our employees and the nation’s truck drivers to continue serving on the front lines of the fuel and food distribution systems across the country,” the organizations said in the letter. “Furthermore, by vaccinating truckstop employees, we can amplify the breadth and scope of vaccination deployment across the communities in which we operate. It is imperative that we protect those who are delivering critical supplies ꟷ including the vaccine ꟷ throughout the country. Allowing the truckstop industry, which provides the parking and other services drivers need on the road, to serve as mobile vaccination sites is the best way to meet this goal.”
NATSO was joined in signing the letter by the American Trucking Associations, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, National Private Truck Council, National Tank Truck Carriers, Truckload Carriers Association and the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund.
Utilizing truckstops and travel plazas as mobile vaccination sites would alleviate significant challenges that truck drivers currently face in receiving an expedient vaccine. Many states, for example, currently require proof of residency to receive a vaccine.
Truck drivers should be allowed to receive a vaccine in a state other than that within which they reside due to their length of time on the road and away from home, the groups said. Truck drivers also should be allowed to receive their second vaccination at a different truckstop location as it is improbable that they would have the ability to return to the primary vaccination site on a specific date or time.
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