Transportation Trade Groups Seek Priority in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Trade groups representing railroad workers, public transit agencies and companies that supply the railroad industry are trying to pressure government officials to give some of their workers priority in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine that is now being distributed.

Among those writing letters to federal and state officials have been the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the Association of American Railroads, the American Public Transportation Association and the Railway Supply Institute.

Trade groups representing various other modes of transportation have also sought priority for their workers.

The groups are citing  a guideline of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that essential workers, including those in transportation, be included in the second priority group or Phase 1b of the vaccine distribution.

Highest priority (Phase 1a) is being given to health care workers and others such as those working in nursing homes.

Some of the letters being written by the transportation trade associations have been sent senators on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Transportation and Safety Subcommittee to request “timely access” to the vaccine.

APTA has written to all state governors “urging them to consider prioritizing transit workers as they develop their vaccination distribution plans.”

In its statement, RSI said those working for railway suppliers should be among the early recipient groups vaccine because of their supporting role for passenger and freight railroads “as they deliver people, food, fuel, medicine, and other supplies that have sustained our nation’s pandemic response and economic recovery.”

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