Consumer Brands Association Asks Second Priority for Covid Vaccine

Sept. 24, 2020
Food processors' trade association urges access right after healthcare workers and first responders.

With a COVID-19 vaccine hopefully in sight, Consumer Brands Assn. (CBA) sent a letter to CDC Director Robert Redfield today (Sept. 24) urging Tier 2 vaccine priority access for food and consumer goods manufacturing employees.

"We want to make sure our industry’s manufacturing employees can have fast access to a vaccine to keep the industry running smoothly," said a spokesperson for the association.

"Consumer Brands respectfully requests that the CPG workforce — food, beverage, personal care and household products industry — be prioritized for allocation of COVID-19 vaccines after healthcare workers and first responders," the letter said. It noted approximately 1.2 million food, beverage, personal care and household product manufacturing employees.

In addition to providing food, "the CPG workforce manufactures products that are necessary for executing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination campaign, particularly with regard to cleaning and sanitizing goods." CBA, formerly Grocery Manufacturers Assn., represents manufacturers of practically everything that's founds in a grocery store, including nonfood items.

"Worker absenteeism remains a concern in manufacturing facilities, posing a threat to the maintenance of consistent inventories of life-sustaining products. Despite manufacturers mobilizing physical and administrative interventions to enhance worker health and safety, a COVID-19 vaccination may be the best defense against community transmission."

CBA also provided this recommendation to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) COVID-19 Working Group.

The association also recommended that "industry workers in related operations that are critical to the ability of manufacturing facilities to operate and that are not able to work remotely also be included." The letter specified 360,000 employees directly employed by the CPG industry who are involved with trucking and transportation and another 142,000 employees working on facility maintenance.

Read the entire letter here.

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