WINNIPEG -- Truck drivers from Manitoba are receiving their first vaccinations against COVID-19 in North Dakota.

On Monday, Manitoba and North Dakota announced a partnership to immunize Manitoba-based truck drivers who cross the border as part of their regular routes.

The immunization station is set up at Northbound Alexander Henry Rest Area near Drayton, North Dakota.

Truck drivers can pull in and receive a dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Tyson Baker, a Manitoba truck driver, received his shot on Wednesday.

“When I picked up my load (in Winnipeg), I went online to their website to book an appointment, and all you had to do was pull into the rest area,” he said. “They’ve got a little trailer set up there, and you walk in, they take your information down, they give you a shot, they put you aside for 15 minutes to make sure you’re okay, and you just jump in your truck and keep driving.

“It’s actually really easy, it’s relaxing actually. There were a bunch of Manitoba truck drivers there too, so I wasn’t alone. There were actually trucks driving by too, honking their horn and everything. Everyone’s happy about it.”

Baker, 25, said the only side effect he is feeling is a sore arm. He added COVID-19 is always on his mind when he is travelling into the U.S., especially when stopping at truck stops or when fuelling up.

He said having the vaccine is relaxing for him.

“It definitely takes some stress off my mind, knowing that I’m one step farther ahead, and I’m moving in the right direction,” Baker said, thanking both Manitoba and North Dakota for the partnership.

On Monday, North Dakota said it will provide both the first and second shots to eligible drivers, and follow the recommended dose schedule.