KITCHENER — Truck drivers are pushing to be added to a priority list for COVID-19 vaccines.
Matt LeBlanc travels all across North America every day and said he’s at a high-risk for catching the disease when he’s travelling through the United States.
“I catch COVID down there, it takes 14 days,” he said. “In 14 days, I could be back and forth seven times. That’s a heck of a spread.”
LeBlanc said truck drivers should be on a federal priority list for vaccine rollout.
“We’re considered an essential service, but we’re not essential enough to get a vaccine,” he said. “That just doesn’t make sense. We could typically spread this disease from coast-to-coast. No one cares.”
In Ontario, truck drivers will be able to get the vaccine in Phase Two. But, vaccination distribution differs by province.
“It should be a national issue,” said Amrit Grewal with the Canadian Trucking Association.
Grewal said they’re calling for a Canada-wide vaccination plan for truckers/
LeBlanc is from Nova Scotia but works out of Ontario. However, he said he’s unable to get the vaccine here.
“I get home every three and a half months,” he said. “Some people get home two, three, four weeks. We’re travelling across (Canada). They should have set ups where we go in, get the shot and get going.”
The Public Health Agency of Canada said it’s up to the provinces to determine vaccine eligibility.
“That includes the vaccination of their residents, keeping them informed as well as establishing immunization priorities and setting up facilities. That is done via provinces an territories public health authorities’ existing immunization programs as well as their respective epidemiology,” a statement said in part. “Provincial and territorial governments may refer to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines for considerations and decision points related to COVID-19 immunization program roll-out in the context of available vaccine supply, to assess their vaccine distribution options.”
LeBlanc said he wants more to be done to protect drivers.
“It’s just a big risk that everyone’s overlooking,” he said.