Uber Asks CDC to Consider Drivers Essential, Wants Early Vaccinations

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On Thursday, Uber Technologies made a request with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that its drivers be deemed essential and up first for the COVID-19 vaccination. While slightly presumptuous, it’s hardly the only business to make such a plea. Delivery services, the trucking industry, food producers, and more have asked the CDC to make sure their employees have first whack at being inoculated.

With lockdowns still occurring, nobody wants to be made subject to new restrictions — especially if it hampers their ability to make money. Unfortunately, estimates leave widespread vaccinations a logistical impossibility until the middle of 2021.

According to Reuters, Uber issued a letter to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices stating that its drivers provided critical transportation for essential workers and allowed others to stay home and order food.

“Early access to a vaccine would help drivers and delivery people continue to play their essential role while also reducing the risk that they may inadvertently contract, or possibly transmit, the virus,” read the letter, signed by Uber’s head of federal affairs, Danielle Burr.

From Reuters:

The CDC Advisory Committee is drafting recommendations for who should be prioritized for distribution, and on Tuesday said healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities should receive the vaccine first.

A U.S. government agency in August included ride-hail, taxi, delivery and car rental services in a list of essential critical infrastructure workers that also included more than 300 other job categories.

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