As Covid-19 numbers spike across the country and around the globe, it’s important to do everything possible to protect yourself and your family. As drivers regulated by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), you are considered “essential” – and as we saw during the early stages of the pandemic, many of you bravely worked long hours for pay that seemed gravely insufficient (in my opinion, at least) for providing much-needed transportation to frontline workers and medical professionals.

No one knows what Covid-19 has in store for us in the coming weeks and months, but flu season is upon us, so I’d highly recommend taking advantage of a couple FREE benefits available to every driver that participates in the New York Black Car Fund and/or is a member of the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG).

This year, the IDG is again providing FREE flu shots to all of its members.

“Experts say that this year more than ever it is critical to get your flu vaccine to prevent our hospital systems from being overwhelmed like they were in the spring,” explains Andrew Greenblatt, Executive Director of IDG Benefits Fund. “All NYS black car and ride hail drivers can get free flu shots at any Rite Aid.”

Drivers can sign up for their benefits and get a free flu shot voucher at https://driversbenefits.org/flu_2020/. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) always recommends annual flu vaccinations, but the pandemic added significant urgency this year, “to reduce the impact of respiratory illnesses.” Protect yourself, your family and your passengers by getting a flu shot. It may not offer a 100% guarantee that you won’t get the flu, but it dramatically decreases your chances of getting it, and often reduces your recovery time.

If you already activated your benefits, just call 855.979.1445 and they will email your flu shot voucher, redeemable at any Rite Aid now through December 31, 2020.

The CDC recommends an annual influenza vaccination for everyone six months and older. Last year, approximately 38 million Americans got the flu and 400,000 were hospitalized, according to CDC estimates. Learn more about flu vaccination, prevention, symptoms and diagnosis at www.cdc.gov/flu.

The IDG also works closely with the New York Black Car Fund (BCF), which provides FREE telemedicine to all of its drivers AND their families. A medical professional will speak to you free of charge via phone or video chat, and offer a basic diagnosis, send prescriptions straight to your pharmacy and/or advise you to see a doctor in person, depending on your symptoms and the severity of your illness. This allows you – at least initially – to avoid visiting a doctor’s office, where you could come in contact with other people who may have the flu or Covid-19.

You can enjoy this free benefit the same way you can get your free flu shot. Activate your free benefits by visiting https://DriversBenefits.org/ – or, if you already activated your benefits, call 855.979.1445 for more info.

Please, do not hesitate to access and set up these FREE benefits. Although the process is easy, you’ll be glad you did it in advance if you do get ill. Anything that simplifies your life when you are not feeling well, or lessens your risk of having your symptoms worsen, will be greatly appreciated.

“One of the most important things we hear from drivers is that they can’t afford to get sick,” concludes Greenblatt. “Any illness – whether it’s themselves or taking care of their family members – means they can’t work and puts their household in jeopardy. Providing free flu shots is another way we can help support working drivers while also protecting our communities.”

Stay well, stay vigilant, and please take advantage of the benefits offered to you free of charge!

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Article by Neil Weiss

Neil Weiss is the Editor/Publisher/Owner of Black Car News and Livery Times. He has been involved in the ground transportation industry since 1991, writing thousands of articles on a wide variety of subjects.

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