As some states begin to vaccinate essential meat and poultry workers, The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) today called for the Biden Administration’s help in ensuring all states prioritize these workers to receive the vaccine and its long-term protection from COVID-19.
Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts encouraged the White House to ensure all states prioritize vaccine access for the diverse meat and poultry workforce, which will also maximize health benefits in rural communities than can have limited health services.
“Some states like Kansas, Colorado and Iowa are working with meat and poultry companies to facilitate the vaccination of their frontline employees to ensure these dedicated workers are protected so they can keep food on America’s tables and our farm economy working,” Potts wrote.
“Other states have inexplicably pushed essential workers back into line. We are asking the Administration to convey to all states the importance of prioritizing these workers and ensuring their swift vaccination.”
In December, the Meat Institute and UFCW jointly urged all 50 U.S. governors to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance and prioritize vaccines for frontline meat and poultry workers. Click here to read NAMI and UFCW’s letter to governors.
Yesterday, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly joined National Beef CEO Tim Klein (and Meat Institute member), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 2 President Martin Rosas and other community leaders to announce a public private partnership to vaccinate thousands of Kansas meat packing workers.
Due to comprehensive COVID-19 protections recently reaffirmed in guidance issued by the Biden administration, current case rates in the sector are more than five times lower than in the general population and are down more than 95% from the pandemic’s peak in the sector.