The arrival of vaccines creates hope for ending a pandemic that's turned the entire world upside down. Individuals living in long-term care facilities and healthcare workers were first to receive the vaccine. Essential frontline workers and people over 75 remain included in Phase 1b. Truck drivers are not included in this "essential" category.
Many feel that truck drivers should rank much higher on the priority list due to their critical role in delivering both vaccines AND essential medical supplies across the country.
These workers play a vital role in today's society, whether providing food, furniture, protective equipment, vaccines, and much more. The vast majority of the items you have today arrived on a truck. Why aren't these individuals at the top of the list for vaccination?
Unfortunately, the CDC doesn't include truck drivers as essential frontline workers, as they must wait until Phase 1c to receive the Covid vaccine. Forcing truck drivers to wait poses a significant risk to the supply chain, as transporting essential health care items and the Covid vaccine is necessary for overcoming this pandemic.
Truck drivers are also at a higher risk of getting the coronavirus due to more interactions with various people. This truth relates to anyone delivering packages, as personal interactions with countless people occur every day during each delivery.
Long-haul truckers may be at a higher risk of suffering complications related to Covid-19. Existing health problems and older age can make it much more difficult for truck drivers to recover from the coronavirus. Drivers in the trucking industry often have a higher than average rate of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
A lack of access to physicians while driving on the road and an inadequate amount of time off is another primary safety concern. Many of these drivers are under much pressure to continue driving to avoid disruptions in the supply chain while also providing an essential service to society.
How to Limit These Health Problems:
Truck drivers transport 71% of the freight within the United States, a $700 billion industry. Americans depend on delivering these goods, as getting truck drivers vaccinated as soon as possible is essential in protecting the supply chain and providing these drivers with much-needed protection against the coronavirus.
Here are some points about just how vital these individuals are to our nation's economic health:
Truck drivers will continue to play an essential role in society as the entire world attempts to overcome the impact of Covid-19. Unfortunately, truck drivers are often under-appreciated.
Being lower on the priority list for receiving a vaccination is a significant safety risk that can disrupt supply chains. Continuing to highlight the vital role of truck drivers is critical in helping them get the respect they deserve AND receive higher priority designation in receiving the Covid vaccine.