NFI: Food workers should receive COVID-19 vaccine early on
The National Fisheries Institute and other food industry groups are urging U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to prioritize food, agriculture, and retail workers for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Scientists have advised that COVID-19 will remain a continuous public health concern, so the importance of a vaccine cannot be overstated. A vaccine targeting COVID-19 is likely the only way to generate immunity across a population,” NFI, FMI - the Food Industry Association, the National Restaurant Association, and other groups said in a letter to Trump.
After a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, the federal government should first consider distribution to healthcare workers, first responders, and high-risk individuals, NFI Vice President of Communications Gavin Gibbons told SeafoodSource.
“Then, the next highest priority for receiving the vaccine [should] be food workers. Food workers are and have been an essential part of the value chain that keeps Americans fed,” Gibbons said.
Prioritizing vaccines for food workers “will be a key intervention to help keep workers healthy and the food and CPG supply chain operating,” NFI and the other organizations said. “The food, agriculture, CPG, and retail industries will continue to fulfill the ‘special responsibility’ critical infrastructure industries carry."
Once a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed, it is imperative the federal government coordinate vaccine distribution, NFI said.
“A unified, federal response would hopefully prevent a fractured state-by-state system that could create confusion and even delays,” Gibbons said.
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