Thursday, January 28, 2021

ATA presses CDC to reclassify truck drivers for Phase 1 of vaccine roll out

Trucking industry leaders are not giving up their fight to have America’s 3.6 million professional truck drivers reclassified as essential workers and thus eligible for the first phase of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid-19 vaccine.

Yesterday, the Alabama Trucking Association added its name to a letter from the American Trucking Associations to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that requests the committee consider reclassifying truck drivers into Phase 1b of its COVID-19 ACIP Vaccine Recommendations.

To the dismay of trucking leaders, the Committee failed to include truckers in its frontline essential worker distinction — a decision inconsistent with the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.

In March of 2020, CISA classified truck drivers as essential to the continued viability of our nation’s infrastructure for the duration of the pandemic.

“The health of our nation’s truck drivers is critical to ensuring the safe and timely delivery of medicine, food, water, fuel and other basic necessities throughout the duration of this pandemic, and as truckers are now called upon to deliver vaccines across the country, it is imperative that drivers have prioritized access in order to minimize the potential for further supply chain delays and disruptions,” ATA’s letter states.

The industry’s argument is that trucking is the backbone of the domestic supply chain, with more than 80% of U.S. communities relying exclusively on trucks for their freight transportation needs. Ensuring the health of truckers and supply chain workers is crucial to the delivery of the daily needs of the country.