By on December 4, 2020

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.

[Image: MikeDotta/Shutterstock]

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16 Comments on “Uber Asks CDC to Consider Drivers Essential, Wants Early Vaccinations...”


  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    They WANT to be injected?
    SMH

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I thought Uber implied that drivers weren’t an integral part of their business. Why do they care?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “drivers be deemed essential”

    Uber and similar business models circumvent employers having any responsibility to their employees umm…er… contractors.

    So why should they care?

    Oh, wait, workers who are sick or can’t afford to drive for you don’t make sufficient profits!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    In many cases, I’d agree that their drivers are essential. Get in line.

    But Uber’s petition on their behalf is ironic, given their status as non-employees.

  • avatar
    Null Set

    Then Uber should pay for them. I know they’re not used to having to pay their drivers, but some things do cost money.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    This is hilarious. While some would be inconvenienced-if Uber went out of business the world would still run.

    My vote would be for grocery workers to be given the vaccinations over the Uber drivers.

    We all need to eat.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Missed a golden opportunity there..could have phrased it “everyone who wants the first shot at an inoculation…!” :-D

    Can’t resist injecting a little humor!

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Vaccination worker: “It says here you have been an Uber driver since this morning – is that right?”

    Me: “Yes, yes it is.”

  • avatar
    brn

    I’m classified as an essential employee from a Covid perspective, but I don’t want a vaccine before those that really deserve it (those on the front line that are keeping us safe). Shame on Uber for trying put it’s business at that same level.

    • 0 avatar
      2manycars

      Those that really deserve being injected with a hastily-designed vaccine that has received minimal testing are the politicians and bureaucrats, as well as the heads of the drug companies and their families. They will make excellent long-term test subjects.

      Then the rest of us can kick back see if over the course of a year or so they wind up with tumors the size of cauliflowers growing out of their ears.

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        2manycars,

        “Those that really deserve being injected with a hastily-designed vaccine that has received minimal testing are the politicians and bureaucrats, as well as the heads of the drug companies and their families. They will make excellent long-term test subjects.

        Couldn’t agree more. If they start doing large scale vaccination of the public, I just hope they have plenty of hospital beds available for those getting sick (or worse). I would like to stay as far away as possible from this ill advised vaccine program.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I take it you don’t understand how any of this works.

        Flu vaccines are developed new every year based upon the 3 most likely infuenza strains to hit North America. Think about that….New vaccines every year.

        There are 6 typical ways to make a vaccine. All the same as making a flu vaccine. mRNA is the newest form. The majority of side effects show up in 40 days. Most trials have at least 60 days of observation. By the time it gets to production it will be more likely 6 months of observation.

        The mRNA vaccine elicits a strong response that mimics COVID-19 side effects for a few days. That’s actually a good sign. It shows that your immune system is responding.

        As far as tumors the size of cauliflower growing out your ears, that shows that you don’t understand cancer either.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I am a full time Uber driver. I do 20 trips a day. Imagine if I was COVID positive. That’s a lot of people to contact trace. It’s not about Uber making money. There are plenty of drivers to step in when one gets sick. It makes sense to get ride share drivers vaccinated early.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Taxi drivers, bus drivers, delivery drivers, restaurant workers, retail employees, factory workers, farmers, teachers, etc.

      The list could go on and on. Those who are truly essential and keep the rest of us safe need to be at the front of the line.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Essential workers are 1st front line healthcare workers, paramedics, fire/rescue, and police.

        You can then look at those in services essential to society.

        Taxi drivers… er.. Uber drivers are a lot lower on the list.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    As the first few posters said, this is amazingly slimy on Uber’s part. Mind you, Uber was just at the forefront of a successful $200 million propaganda campaign to convince California voters that its own drivers were NOT entitled to the protections of employees.

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