Vaccination Bonuses Amid Pressures for Drivers to Get the Shot

Truck driver getting vaccinated.

In January, 2022, truck drivers will require complete COVID-19 vaccination to enter the USA from Canada to do their jobs; American drivers will also face the same requirements to enter Canada.  This reciprocity means that, starting mid-January, cross-border truck drivers will require vaccination to continue to do their jobs.

Trucking companies are in a period of uncertainty as it is not known how impactful the vaccination mandate will be.  Some carriers are even offering large bonuses to drivers that go and get vaccinated ahead of the deadline.  Even though the impact to driver labour won’t be known until the mandate passes, carriers are worried it might impact their ability to service their customers.

Canada’s trucking industry has been struggling through a labour shortage that predates the COVID-19 pandemic.  While freight, in general, has boomed at times during COVID and demand for trucks is high, labour has become the limiting factor for many carriers.  Anything that could potentially impact driver numbers draws strong criticism from many within the industry – and this includes the vaccination mandate.

Trucking industry associations which support vaccination are still calling upon governments to push the vaccine deadline ahead.  Fears over supply chain interruptions are the top concern. Whether or not these fears are founded will not be known until after the mandate is upon us in early 2022.