New Brunswick premier urges truck drivers to get a COVID-19 vaccination

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FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's premier is urging truck drivers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, but the head of a regional trucking association says it's not that simple.

Blaine Higgs told reporters today only about 800 of the 3,500 truck drivers in the province have gotten a first dose of vaccine despite the fact vaccines have been allocated for them.

But Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, says at least 1,000 drivers in the province have gotten the vaccine. He says that number might actually be higher because many pharmacies that administer vaccines are only asking about age and not profession.

Picard says truckers are on the road most of the time so it's difficult to schedule vaccine appointments, and says many are waiting for a day off to get vaccinated in case they have an adverse reaction.

He says New Brunswick has been more progressive about getting truckers vaccinated than the other Atlantic provinces, but suggests portable clinics at truck scales might be a way to accelerate the process.

Higgs says in order to get the Atlantic travel bubble re-opened, it's important to have cross-border activity as protected as possible.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press