Several of the largest trucking associations in the U.S. have joined together in a call to allow truck stops and travel plazas to distribute vaccines to drivers.
The Feb. 25 letter to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is signed by the truck stop association NATSO, American Trucking Associations, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, National Private Truck Council, National Tank Truck Carriers, St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, and Truckload Carriers Association.
“The very nature of the trucking, truckstop, and travel plaza industries allows us a unique opportunity to have an immediate and meaningful impact on the distribution of vaccines to these essential employees,” the group says in the letter.
“Truck stops are specifically designed to meet the needs of truck drivers who often are on the road for hundreds of days each year crossing state lines and generally unable to access other facilities, including medical sites, while driving a Class 8 tractor-trailer.”
While many states require proof of residency to receive a vaccine, the group says truck drivers should be allowed to receive a vaccine in state outside where they reside because of the length of time they spend away from home. “Truck drivers also should be allowed to receive their second vaccination at a different truckstop location,” they add.
“Allowing the truck stop 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.”
Canadian vaccine strategies vary by province and local health unit.