ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has called on policymakers across various levels of government, asking that members of the trucking industry be among the groups of essential workers receiving prioritized access to COVID-19 vaccines.
On Dec. 1, ATA sent letters to the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, President-elect Joe Biden and the National Governors Association, stressing the essential role of the trucking industry.
“Our workforce represents a central and critical link in the nation’s supply chain and will play an essential role in the imminent COVID-19 vaccine distribution process,” wrote Bill Sullivan, ATA’s executive vice president for advocacy. “As the trucking industry is called upon to deliver vaccines across the country, it is imperative that truck drivers have prioritized access to the vaccine to minimize the potential for supply chain delays and disruptions.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, the trucking industry has been crucial throughout all phases of the national response effort, providing direct and indispensable support to workers of every category across the front line, from health care professionals and first responders to grocers and pharmacists. This role now expands further as the nation begins mobilizing for the largest vaccine distribution campaign in history.
The letters cite the industry’s designation as essential by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, noting that more than 80% of U.S. communities rely exclusively on trucks to receive necessary goods.
“Our nation’s ability to successfully confront the COVID-19 pandemic depends on the resilience and integrity of our transportation networks,” Sullivan wrote. “The trucking industry is proud to play an outsized role in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, and we ask that you consider the essential nature of the trucking workforce as you implement plans for vaccine distribution.
“As we saw at the outset of the pandemic, when supply lines are disrupted, consequences are fast to follow,” he concluded.
Click here to read the letters sent by ATA.