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Uber asks CDC to designate its drivers and delivery workers as essential

Uber asks CDC to designate its drivers and delivery workers as essential so that they can qualify for early COVID-19 vaccines

  • Company said its drivers provided critical transportation for essential workers
  • Food production and agricultural sectors also asking to prioritize their staff
  • The CDC is now drafting recommendations for who should be prioritized 

Uber has asked the CDC to designate its ride-hail and delivery drivers as non-health essential workers entitled to early COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

The company, in a letter to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said 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,’ said the letter, signed by Uber’s head of federal affairs, Danielle Burr.

Uber has asked the CDC to designate its ride-hail and delivery drivers as non-health essential workers entitled to early COVID-19 vaccine distribution

The letter comes as several industry groups, including in the food production, agricultural, consumer goods and trucking industry, are asking officials to prioritize their workers for early vaccine distribution. 

U.S. government officials have said that up to 20 million people could be vaccinated by the end of 2020, but that it would take until the middle of 2021 for most Americans to gain access to effective inoculation.

The CDC Advisory Committee is drafting recommendations for who should be prioritized for distribution. 

The company, in a letter to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said its drivers provided critical transportation for essential workers and allowed others to stay home and order food

The company, in a letter to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said its drivers provided critical transportation for essential workers and allowed others to stay home and order food

On Tuesday they 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.   

It comes as the US yesterday recorded its worst day of the COVID-19 pandemic so far with one American dying every 30 seconds, more than 100,000 people in hospital and 217,000 confirmed infections.

A total of 2,879 Americans died of coronavirus on Wednesday, which is up from its previous single-day record of 2,804 just one day earlier. It marks a considerable jump from the previous high of 2,603 reported back on April 15 during the initial peak of the pandemic.

The number of daily cases and hospitalizations also reached all time highs with 217,664 new confirmed infections and 100,667 patients currently being treated for the virus.

Of those hospitalized, 19,442 are in the ICU and 6,967 are on ventilators, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

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