Vaccine drive arms truckers against COVID
LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - Since the pandemic began, organizations representing truck drivers have been calling on the CDC to designate truck stops and travel plazas as COVID-19 vaccinations sites.
Now that efforts have been made by the federal government to expand the availability of vaccines, men and women behind the wheel from both sides of the border are getting a chance to protect themselves against the virus.
It didn’t take long for truckers to take advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated here in the gateway city.
Keep in mind, the early vaccination sites required proof of residency in order to get the vaccine, which created challenges for drivers out of state and those from out of the country.
As of today, no proof of identification or residency is needed and the difference is allowing some to keep on trucking.
“They are traveling all around the U.S. all around Mexico and it’s very important to ask the community that we have a vaccine because it’s an extra to get the vaccine.”
With a thousand doses of the Moderna vaccines available, the Mexican Consulate’s office was ready to arm truck drivers against the dangers of spreading the pandemic.
“They’re essential workers coming in an out and we just made it easier for them, to facilitate them getting the vaccine,” said Reyes D. Soto. “So, that’s why we made it out here to Mines Road so that way they wouldn’t end up in so much traffic. So, they can come in and then go on their merry way and go do their job.”
“It’s an amazing effort from the Laredo Motor Carriers, LUVS, and the Laredo Fire Department and obviously the Consulate of Mexico,” said Horacio Munguia. “We bring about a thousand vaccines for carriers and all the people involved in the business.”
With an average of about 9,000 tractor trailers crossing the bridges on a daily basis, these types of drives could prove to be as essential as the drivers themselves.
“Not only does it help our city not get anymore COVID-19 infections, but it helps the U.S... If these people go up there and transact with other people from out of state, then they can pass on to a person from a different state. So, let’s get them all vaccinated.”
“They now have text information. The next vaccine shot will be in here in the same place June 1st, if they don’t have the opportunity or time they can go to the health department and get the second shot of the vaccine.”
Face coverings and masks were encouraged at the event.
In the end, over 700 truckers and other individuals were vaccinated.
The American Trucking Association lobbied to allow the second dose of the vaccination to be made at secondary locations, as it is not likely they’ll be able return to their primary vaccination site of a specific date.
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