Canadian Trucking Association Calls For Prioritization Of Truckers For The COVID-19 Vaccine

The coronavirus outbreak has been hard for the trucking industry, with companies like Titan Transline having been forced to make serious adjustments. One Canadian trucking association noted how truckers are facing discrimination due to the pandemic, and are calling for help.

The Manitoba Trucking Association report that they get regular reports of truckers being refused medical or retail services out of fear that they might carry COVID-19. The MTA states the truck drivers perform a key service and that they’re safe, which is why they’re asking for truckers to be treated fairly.

Back in October 2020, MTA’s Terry Shaw spoke to Global News, saying that truckers were being rejected from retail stores and even from getting flu shots. They note that they’re not getting reports in waves, but these incidents shouldn’t be happening in the first place.

Shaw explains that the nature of the trucking profession means that truckers tend to spay a lot of their workdays alone in their trucks, all by themselves. As long as the truck is properly cleaned and sanitized, it acts as the truckers’ workspaces and living spaces.

Due to the fact that truckers go through different jurisdictions, Shaw, the MTA, and other organizations stated that truckers should get prioritization for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Shaw says that ensuring that truck drivers are vaccinated won’t just protect them and others, but it also ensures that the supply chain stays protected, which is why they’re encouraging provincial governments to consider the truckers and the logistical needs of their provinces.

Simon Fraser University Public Health Professor Kelly Lee stated that truck drivers should be vaccinated, for the same reason that flight crews should get the vaccine, as they handle an essential job, one that reduces the trips that people have to make and contact trace, which they can’t handle otherwise without a proper vaccine.

However, a lot of the vaccine rollout plans, which vary from province to province, don’t have truckers included in their first phases. In response, the MTA has been talking with the Manitoba government, while the Canadian Trucking Alliance is talking with the Canadian federal government.