Beck Taxi is urging the province to immediately prioritize taxi drivers for COVID-19 vaccination, noting that they are among the few essential workers who are expected to interact with known positive cases of COVID-19.
Speaking to CP24 on Monday morning, Kristine Hubbard, Beck Taxi’s operations manager, said she was constantly getting calls from drivers asking them when they would be eligible for a vaccine.
âIt’s a situation where our province and our city are telling people, ‘Don’t take public transportation if you’re sick.’ Take a cab.’ And so these are the people who escort our most vulnerable members of our community door to door, âshe said.
While essential workers should not be a priority for vaccination in the province until mid-May, the Ontario government has said it hopes many essential workers will be vaccinated as it strives to inoculate all adult residents in the province’s COVID-19 hot spot. codes in the coming weeks.
Many have raised concerns about this strategy, noting that not all frontline workers live in the hot spots where they work.
Hubbard said his company’s taxi drivers should visit many different areas during their day, including hot spot addresses.
âBy hot spots we mean COVID test centers, isolation centers and anyone traveling to and from these places. So these are not necessarily postal codes, âshe added.
âWe work with approximately 1,200 taxi drivers who are the only essential workers expected to interact with known COVID positive or probable COVID cases like no other. “
She added that taxi drivers also transported vulnerable members of the community, including cancer patients and elderly residents.
In addition to vaccinating people aged 18 and over in sensitive areas, the Ford government has pledged to use mobile teams and pop-up clinics to introduce the vaccine to sensitive workplaces, including large companies. the manufacturing sector.
Hubbard said she has contacted the province to have Beck Taxi organize an on-site vaccination clinic to vaccinate taxi drivers.
“We have already offered, through the deputy minister’s office, to host a mobile vaccination site in our large parking lot,” she said.
âThe drivers regularly ask me when they will be qualified for the vaccine. “