Manitoba has reached a new COVID-19 immunization milestone with more than 1,000 truck drivers vaccinated in North Dakota as part of the Essential Worker Cross-Border Vaccination Initiative, Economic Development and Jobs Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.
“Our government is grateful for this partnership with North Dakota to augment Manitoba’s vaccine rollout and we appreciate their offer to help protect Manitobans and immunize essential workers delivering goods and services,” said Eichler. “We have now surpassed the milestone of 1,000 truck drivers who have been immunized in North Dakota and this demand showcases the importance of this joint initiative with our neighbours to the south.”
Announced in April, the Essential Worker Cross-Border Vaccination Initiative is an opportunity to support Manitoba and North Dakota’s integrated economies by co-operating on the vaccination of individuals who work in both jurisdictions. The first clinic opened April 21 at a northbound rest area on Interstate 29 (I-29) near Drayton, N.D.
The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) and its members have helped the province identify and co-ordinate eligible individuals for the initiative. By co-ordinating with North Dakota, truck drivers transporting goods to and from the United States have been able to schedule vaccination appointments on their routine trips.
“Throughout this pandemic, Manitoba truck drivers knew that they had to stay on the road so that they could deliver the supplies their fellow Manitobans needed to self-isolate safely and comfortably,” said Terry Shaw, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association. “While this couldn’t be done without Manitoba and our willing trucking community, it also couldn’t occur without the generosity of the State of North Dakota. On behalf of the membership of the Manitoba Trucking Association, thank you to our government partners on both sides of the border.”
The state and province have established a joint operations group to manage the initiative. The North Dakota Department of Health is providing nurses and other staff to administer the first and second doses of the vaccine to provide full immunization of truckers. There is no cost to the state or province as the U.S. government supplies the vaccine and reimburses the costs to administer.
Manitoban truck drivers are currently able to get vaccinated at two clinics in North Dakota:
• Oriska rest area on I-94 near Tower City every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and
• Drayton rest area on I-29 near Drayton every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
These locations and hours will be effective to the end of June (updated with new date).
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