‘We are ready and willing’: Florida Trucking Association says drivers will be prepared to transport COVID-19 vaccine

FLORIDA — In a vote of 13-1 today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended health care workers and those who live in long-term care facilities be the first people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available.

Once a vaccine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it’ll still have to be delivered nationwide.

Action News Jax’s Courtney Cole spoke to the Florida Trucking Association about the vital role truck drivers will play in helping the nation fight against the virus.

The FDA is set to discuss Pfizer’s application for emergency use authorization on Dec. 10 and Moderna’s application on Dec. 17.

But when a vaccine is ultimately approved, Alix Miller told Action News Jax that truck drivers are standing ready.

“We are ready and willing and able to help as soon as we needed,” Miller said.

Miller is the vice president of the Florida Trucking Association.

She told Cole that Florida has a unique advantage when it comes to preparing for emergency situations like this.

“When it comes to the pandemic, we are ahead of the curve compared to other states — simply because we, as an industry, are so used to handling hurricane and what happens right before, during and after,” Miller said.

Right now, Miller said it’s too early to determine exactly how many trucks and drivers will be needed.

But she did tell Action News Jax she is in constant contact with the Department of Emergency Management and is awaiting guidance from the CDC.

“We obviously know that they would need refrigerated trucks for that, and our association members and trucking and transportation are absolutely preparing for that and are ready to equal to the task for this,” Miller said.

The federal government stated 40 million coronavirus vaccine doses could be available by the end of December.

However, it is important to note that each person will need two doses of the vaccine.

“I think one thing that people are seeing with this pandemic is how vital, how important and how professional these drivers are. So I hope that it will bring in a new generation of drivers to see what an important and fulfilling job it can be,” Miller said.