By: Jag Dhatt
It’s safe to say that Covid-19 brought the world to its knees, making almost everyone realize that this pandemic was not something to be taken lightly. Countries closed their borders, communities made drastic changes to their day-to-day lives, and doctors and scientists worked tirelessly to come up with a vaccine.
And now, as the 2020 calendar year comes to a close, and we look towards 2021, there may be some brighter days ahead, sooner than later.
It was announced about a week ago that some vaccinations almost ready, and that Canada and the USA could be getting vaccinations delivered even by the end of December, ahead of initial projections.
In March of 2020, when the pandemic’s first wave hit North America, the US government declared truck drivers as critical infrastructure workers; in other words, front line workers. The Canadian government also pointed out that truck drivers were essential in keeping North America’s economy moving, delivering critical supplies as quickly as possible.
Now with vaccinations on the horizon, the American Trucking Association is urging the US government to allow truck drivers to be one of the first to get these essential immunizations.
In a letter to the government, the American Trucking Association’s Executive Vice President for Advocacy Bill Sullivan wrote, “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.”
When asked about the practicality of this request, Stephen Burks, professor and economist at the University of Minnesota-Morris, said, “There are essential workers who interact with the public to keep the basics of the economy going and truckers are a part of this group of essential workers.”
And since truckers will be the ones delivering the vaccines across North America, it seems logical that they would also be one of the first to be inoculated. “Our nation’s efforts to successfully confront the COVID-19 pandemic depends on the resilience and integrity of the transportation network,” said Sullivan.
Although no hard comments have been made by the governments of both Canada and the USA on whether truckers will be one of the first to be vaccinated against Covid-19, it would seem to be the right, and best, decision.
And if the vaccinations can start in mid-December, they would make for remarkable Christmas presents.