Organizations representing truck drivers, trucking fleets, and truckstops are calling for the CDC to designate truckstops and travel plazas as COVID-19 vaccination sites.
One of the latest efforts was a Feb. 25 letter to the director of the Centers for Disease Control from truckstop organization NATSO and major fleet associations calling for truckstops and travel plazas to be designated as mobile COVID-19 vaccination sites and for the vaccine to distributed to professional truck drivers and truckstop employees.
Using truckstops and travel plazas as mobile vaccination sites would alleviate significant challenges that truck drivers currently face in receiving a vaccine. Many states, for example, currently require proof of residency to receive a vaccine, the groups said in a letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
“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. Truck drivers also must be allowed to receive their second vaccination at a different location, as it is improbable that they would have the ability to return to the primary vaccination site on a specific date or time,” they wrote.
The letter was signed by NATSO, the American Trucking Associations, the Truckload Carriers Association, National Private Truck Council, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, and the Tank Truck Carriers.
The letter is the latest effort by the trucking industry to address COVID-19 vaccinations for truck drivers. It follows similar letters from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and ATA earlier this year.
"Our members are concerned about how they will gain access to COVID-19 vaccinations while continuing to work," OOIDA officials wrote in their letter. "It will likely be logistically difficult and economically disruptive. ... Providing vaccinations, preferably one-time dosages, at the already available truck stop clinics or rest areas throughout the country would be a viable solution to ensuring essential workers in the trucking industry are receiving the protection they need."