A Response: Truck Stops + Vaccine Sites

March 15 2021

We have reached the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic and, while surreal that this past year transpired in the way it did, there is hope for “normal” on the horizon. Vaccinations are starting to rollout across the country – in the first phase are essential workers and the elderly, then the next phase will include more groups and so on. Truckers and transportation carriers certainly fall into the essential worker category and many are eligible to get the vaccine but might not have the work flexibility to do so. According to this Transport Topics article, “A coalition of trucking groups has issued a letter urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to designate truck stops and travel plazas as COVID-19 vaccination sites.”

The group NATSO stated, “From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, our industries have been directly involved in the fight against this pandemic,” in their letter. “Truck stops and travel plazas serve as the home away from home for the nation’s 3 million professional truck drivers.”

To share for our readers that don’t already know, the typical hours-of service for truck drivers are as follows:

These hours-of-service are meant to keep our highway heroes and those that share the highway with them safe. However, this also means to get a load moved cross-country, truckers are gone from home for days to weeks, depending on their route and schedule. This makes it difficult to get to a vaccination station if they’re eligible and interested in getting the COVID vaccine, especially if they would need to go in their Class 8 vehicle.

Additionally, these groups and NATSO are suggesting, “truck drivers should be able to receive a vaccine in a state other than the one in which they reside due to their long stretches of time away from home.” They also requested that, “truckers should be able to get their second vaccine at a different truck stop than their first injection, as it would be unlikely they would have the ability to return to the first location on a specific date.”

We asked a couple members of our team about their thoughts on this blog:

  • “Many drivers cannot always plan for the required appointment times, etc. that is required in order to get this vaccine currently during the few days of home time they often get. Giving them quick and easy access to a vaccine not only aids in the fight of the pandemic itself, but a good show of support to our very essential truck drivers who have kept us all afloat this year.” – Melissa
  • “I think it is a great idea to provide easier access to the vaccine, especially since some of these drivers are on the road weeks at a time. A truck stop or travel plaza would be perfect to use to keep the wheels rolling for these drivers.” – Eric

What do you think about these requests?

All the Best,

Jeff Beckham

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