US meat workers among the first vaccinated
The role played by meat and poultry workers was recognized by the US authorities such as CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Priority (ACIP). "Priority access to vaccines is a critical step for the long-term safety of the selfless frontline meat and poultry workers who have kept America’s refrigerators full and our farm economy working," said North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) President and CEO Julie Anna Potts in a statement.
$1.5 billion in COVID-19 preventions and supports implemented since the earliest days of the pandemic have reversed COVID-19’s impact on meat and poultry workers, the release said. Meat Institute members have distributed tens of millions of pieces of personal protective equipment, implemented health and temperature screening, radically modified facilities, conducted testing, preemptively paid leave for high-risk and quarantined employees, enhanced air sanitation and ventilation, and much more.
Because of these efforts, COVID-19 infection rates in meat and poultry workers are now more than 8 times lower than in the general population, the Meat Institute reported.
"Meat Institute members stand ready to support vaccination for our diverse workforce, which will also deliver wide-ranging health benefits in rural and high-risk communities. Meat and poultry leaders may also be able to aid vaccination for all Americans, for example by offering state-of-the-art cold storage for these precious vaccines," Potts added.
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