Retailers have sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking to classify employees as top priority in phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
A letter from the National Retail Federation asks that frontline workers be ranked after healthcare and nursing homes in the priorities to receive vaccines. It suggests that retailers will cooperate in making facilities available for vaccinations thereby lowering demand on hospitals and doctors’ offices.
“Retail is a fundamental part of the daily lives of American consumers, providing a variety of goods for sale through a multitude of channels,” the letter states. “We believe workers on the front lines of safely serving their communities, who have faced multiple stoppages and lost paychecks, should be able to access safe COVID-19 vaccines during the early stages of its distribution.”
Washington Retail has joined in the advocacy effort to move essential employees up in the queue for vaccines in the second phase of vaccine distribution.
Besides their employers spending billions to install safety features to respond to the virus, many retail workers were furloughed and unable to work during the early months of the pandemic due to government-mandated shutdowns. Those who continued working adapted quickly to health and safety protocols developed by retailers and the CDC. The pandemic has exposed millions of retail employees to the public in an effort to supply shoppers with the items they need to survive until the pandemic has subsided.
Similar requests are coming forth from industries within Washington State to move essential employees higher in the queue for vaccinations.