Alabama truckers deal with pandemic, wait for vaccine

Trucking during a pandemic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - When offices were mostly empty and businesses shuttered last spring, the hum of an 18-wheeler’s diesel engine was often alone on the highway.

Now, truck drivers are among those responsible for delivering the vaccine, but can’t get it themselves anytime soon.

Responsible for 70 percent of America’s freight, according to Market Insider, truckers can’t take a break.

“We couldn’t stop or shut down, we had to make sure stores were restocked and that medical supplies got where they needed to be,” said Mark Colson, president of Alabama Trucking Association.

The CDC specifically advised truckers to pack food to limit stops, wipe down their controls daily and wash masks... some advice easier said than done on the road.

Today, refrigerated trucks, called reefers, are most critical.

“Now it’s on truckers to deliver the vaccine all across the country, that’s how it’s getting to its final destination,” said Colson.

A vaccine they may not get for months.

“Truckers in Alabama are still in phase 1C from the Alabama Department of Health.”

In the meantime, Colson says they’re doing everything they can to encourage safety measures.

Other states, including Arkansas, are allowing truckers to get the vaccine in the second phase with other essential workers.

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