Release: After Healthcare Workers, Essential Meat Workers High Priority for COVID Vaccine

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Source: Canadian Meat Council

Essential meat workers need to be a priority group of workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The meat industry was among the first sectors to be challenged with the pandemic, and since March the industry has implemented effective mitigation measures, programs and controls to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We are urging the government to prioritize the COVID-19 vaccination for those working in the meat industry, following first-responders, healthcare workers, those in long-term care facilities and other front-line workers” said Chris White, President of the Canadian Meat Council (CMC). “Our efforts are working, but access to vaccines remains the most critical tool to protect this critical workforce and ensure that Canadians can always find meat on the shelves at their grocery store.”

We appreciate and support that first responders, healthcare workers and those in long-term care must have the highest priority for vaccination. However, as government moves beyond these highest priority groups, and looks to the next categories to be vaccinated, CMC believes it is critical that meat industry workers be in that category for any federal and provincial COVID-19 Vaccination Plans.

This request is consistent with the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s preliminary guidance on key populations for early COVID-19 immunization. We are completely aligned with their recommendations from our nation’s top scientists and experts on infectious diseases. Building on that support, today CMC signed onto a coalition letter with 13 other associations in support of vaccination priority for Agri-Food workers.

“Access to this vaccine for our industry would help keep the supply chain going and allow our industry to keep our key export markets available” added Chris White. “The health and safety of our employees and their families is our number one priority.  That is why CMC Members have spent millions of dollars to retrofit their establishments and implement measures to protect their workers and let science be the guiding force behind their decisions to do all they can to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in plants.”

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