|As COVID vaccination rates continue to climb across the country, FTA urges transit agencies to ensure their transit workers and communities have every opportunity to get the vaccine.
According to the Mayo Clinic and the CDC, in the past two months, more Americans have begun getting vaccinated against COVID-19. It was during that time that the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on August 23.
Hesitancy toward the vaccine has also plummeted, according to a recent Ipsos poll. Only 14 percent of Americans now say that they are absolutely not likely to get vaccinated.
FTA is calling on transit leaders to share this information with employees, and to do all you can to encourage vaccination among your workforces. Some agencies have provided paid time off to receive the vaccine, cash awards, or gift cards to motivate employees to get vaccinated.
In addition, for those agencies who have worked hard to encourage vaccination in your community, we hope you will continue those efforts, and begin new ones. More Americans want the vaccine and transit can help them get to appointments or bring vaccination opportunities into their communities. To help share the vaccination message in your community, county-level CDC estimates of vaccine hesitancy for COVID-19 can identify areas within your transit system’s service area that may need extra help reaching the vaccine.
Vaccination is the most effective way to protect yourself and those around you from contracting COVID-19. To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, the CDC advises everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. FTA urges frontline transit workers – and the transit agencies they work for – to make plans to get themselves vaccinated and continue to facilitate access to vaccination sites for members of the community who have yet to get a shot.
FTA is supporting transit agency vaccination efforts by awarding grants under the American Rescue Plan to help cover these expenses and encouraging transit leaders to provide services that make it possible for their community, including their workforce, to get their shots. Transit agencies wishing to find more information on funding eligibility should visit FTA’s FAQs regarding COVID-19 (see questions CA2, CE14, CE18) as well as a wealth of online resources.
FTA also encourages transit agencies to use the CDC, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) toolkit to help increase confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among the transit workforce.