North Dakota extends vaccine offer to Saskatchewan truckers

North Dakota, which made headlines in recent days offering to vaccinate Manitoba truck drivers at the border, is extending the offer to Saskatchewan.

About 2,000 Saskatchewan residents who transport goods across the border will qualify under the agreement between Premier Scott Moe and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.

“Trade with the United States is essential for the Saskatchewan economy,” Moe said. “These essential workers are crossing the border to ensure our residents and those in the United States have access to the goods and services they need to get through this pandemic. This extraordinary level of cooperation helps protect more Canadians at a time when vaccine availability in America exceeds that of Canada, and we thank Governor Burgum for working with our province to make this happen.”

“Protecting the health and safety of essential workers crossing our shared border with Saskatchewan, including truck drivers and energy workers, is vitally important for public health, our economy and the eventual safe reopening of the border,” Burgum added. “We are grateful to Premier Moe for his partnership on this initiative, which will ensure the safe delivery of goods and services across the border and strengthen the longstanding friendly relationship between North Dakota and our northern neighbors.”

Beginning today, Saskatchewan truck drivers can be vaccinated at the rest area near Drayton, N.D., where Manitoba drivers have been receiving their vaccinations. They’re being offered from noon till 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Organizers are looking to set up another site near the North Portal border crossing. Details will be announced in the coming days.

“The Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) knows how critical vaccines are to fighting Covid-19 and is pleased to see the partnership between North Dakota and Saskatchewan,” STA executive director Susan Ewart said. “Providing necessary vaccines to professional drivers and oil field workers crossing the border will ensure the safety and protection of these workers as they continue to drive the economy.”