Iowa 80 Truckstop photo.

As thousands of people visit this year’s Walcott Truckers Jamboree near the Quad Cities, they can get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Through Saturday, Healthy Trucking of America will work with the Scott County Health Department to offer free vaccines and boosters at the I-80 Truck Stop. Jon Slaughter, from Healthy Trucking, says truckers can ask questions, learn about COVID vaccines, and then get a shot.

“Because a trucker will stay on the road upwards of 11 hours a day and 14 days at a time,” Slaughter says. “Whenever they come home, they usually have three days off, and they’re doing what I call ‘honey-dos’ around the house and so it’s not convenient for them.” He says truckers are particularly susceptible because 60% are morbidly obese. Their immune systems aren’t in good shape either, because truckers usually don’t have access to healthy food.

“You’ll hear a lot of them, if you go to our website, you’ll see testimonials from drivers and they’re talking about how much they want to protect their family and the public and they’re in and out of different towns,” Slaughter says. “They don’t want to be a part of something like a spreader event or something. So they’re very responsible. We just want to be where truckers are, so that they can get that vaccine.”

Other health information will also be available to truckers and everyone who visits the Healthy Trucking booth at the jamboree. The group will also offer free scans for diabetic retinopathy.

The Walcott Truckers Jamboree runs through Saturday at the I-80 Truck Stop. It’s free and attracts more than 40,000 people to enjoy: antique trucks, a Super Trucks Beauty Contest, an Iowa Pork Chop Cookout, a Trucker Olympics, exhibits, shopping and more.

(By Michelle O’Neill, WVIK, Rock Island)