North Dakota extending cross-border vaccination for Manitobans

2,500 doses delivered to Manitoba truck drivers in U.S. state

North Dakota extending cross-border vaccination for Manitobans
To date, 2,523 doses have been administered to Manitoba truck drivers in North Dakota.

The North Dakota Department of Health has extended the Drayton pop-up vaccination clinic through the month of July to accommodate Canadian traffic under the Essential Worker Cross-Border Vaccination Initiative.

“The success of this first-of-its-kind program between North Dakota and Manitoba is a testament to our strong commitment to protecting public health and providing safe, effective vaccines to those essential workers who transport goods and services across our border,” said North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. “By extending the program through July, we can continue to protect the health of our citizens and our economies as we move closer to the reopening of our shared border.”

Manitoban truck drivers can get vaccinated at the Drayton rest area on I-29 near Drayton every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They can also get inoculated at GasTrak at 700 W Stutsman St. in Pembina every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Both clinic schedules are effective throughout July.

Announced in April, the initiative has coordinated the opportunity for Manitoba-based truck drivers transporting goods to and from the United States to schedule immunization appointments on routine trips. The first clinic opened on April 21 at a northbound rest area on Interstate 29 (I-29) near Drayton, N.D.

The state and province established a joint operations group to manage the initiative, with the North Dakota Department of Health providing nurses and other staff to administer first and second doses. There is no cost to the state or province as the U.S. government supplies the vaccine and reimburses the costs to administer.

In May, North Dakota and Saskatchewan also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to vaccinate essential workers who are transporting goods across the United States and Canadian border.

To date, 2,523 doses have been administered to Manitoba truck drivers in North Dakota, with 1,719 receiving a first dose and 804 receiving a second dose.

“Thanks to the generosity of our southern neighbours in North Dakota, we’ve been able to boost Manitoba’s vaccination efforts and protect truck drivers who are working tirelessly through the pandemic to deliver essential goods and services to Manitobans and across the border,” said Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister. “Based on demand from Manitobans passing through North Dakota on their delivery routes, the successful partnership is extended through July and this strong cross-border cooperation will continue to benefit both our communities and our economies.”

Recently, San Francisco started requiring all its 35,000 municipal workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when a vaccine receives federal approval.

Manitoba Trucking Association

Pallister also noted the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) and its members have helped the province identify and coordinate to recruit eligible individuals for the program.

Meanwhile, the MTA is reminding professional drivers vaccinated in North Dakota to register their vaccinations with Shared Health.

The group is asking concerned parties to complete all elements of the electronic COVID-19 Immunization Record Request Form, available in English here and in French here.

“On this request form under the ‘Reason for Inquiry’, please check the box indicating that you want to add a COVID-19 Immunization provided out-of-province. For example, you have received your second dose of Pfizer vaccine in Regina, Saskatchewan on May 1, 2021, and can you please have this dose added to your immunization record,” it said.

“Please also provide a scanned copy or picture of your proof of immunization (COVID-19 Vaccine Record Card) with this request. It needs to be an official immunization record that includes your name, birth date, PHIN, vaccine product name/manufacturer, dose one and/or two, date provided, and location eg. clinic site.”

Previously, more than 350 doctors and medical workers in Indonesia were infected by COVID-19 even though they were already vaccinated, according to reports.