In an effort to ensure vaccines are easily available for truckers across the country, ATA has partnered with NATSO and other associations pushing for truck stops and travel plazas to be used as mobile vaccination sites for professional truck drivers and truck stop employees.
In a letter to the CDC, ATA spelled out the role it would like to take in assisting truckers and truck stop employees get vaccines.
“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. Truckstops and travel plazas serve as the home away from home for the nation’s 3 million professional truck drivers. Truckstops 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.