Companies are jockeying for fast-tracking their employees for coronovirus vaccine shots, with lobbying states left to decide who gets vaccinated after healthcare workers.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued federal guidance on the definition of essential workers, it is up to each state to determine who will join the second group of employees once the health care workers and nursing home residents receive the vaccine. Approximately 55 million workers are considered “essential”, a battle to determine who should be first.
“A lot of the more important infrastructure employers I am working with are partnering in one way or another to get the vaccine”, Drs. Said David Zeig, an HR consultant, Mercer’s partner and leader of clinical services. “They are really looking for every possible opportunity.”
Dordash, Lyft and Uber, who have played a role in delivering and transporting food to consumers and hospital patients, have also handed separate letters to governors requesting that their workers and drivers be included in another group.
“Uber is ready for us to do everything we need – to leverage our technology, our logistic expertise and our resources,” said Uber CEO Dara Kharoshashahi. An email statement.
Leaders of the airline, hotel and trucking industries are also trying to put their workers in the prestigious second phase.
Meatpacking has been one of the industries hardest hit by coronoviruses. The CDC received more than 16,000 cases from April to May in about 240 facilities in more than 20 states, many of them people of color. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 6 percent to 8 percent of US Kovid-19 cases and 3 percent to 4 percent of deaths by the end of July were tied to an outbreak of meatpacking plants.
In a letter to the CDC and state governors last week, Purdy Farms CEO Randy Day urged that meat and poultry workers, as well as their families and homes, “get a vaccine as soon as possible.”
Retail workers have been pummeled by the virus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of July, 1.9 million store-based retail workers were unemployed, most of them on furloughs. As stores reopen, retail workers are face-to-face with hundreds of shopkeepers a day, some of whom ignore facade and social distinction rules, which at times lead to confrontations.
The National Retail Federation, a retail trade industry conglomerate representing companies including Macy’s, Gap and Walmart, wrote to the CDC that “working on the front lines serving their communities safely, which has led to many stagnation and lost Should be able to withstand the paycheck. ” Use safe COVID-19 vaccines during the initial stages of your delivery. “
Companies up and down the goods supply chain have also jumped into the fray. The nation’s second-largest employer, Amazon, requested that employees at its fulfillment centers, data centers, and Whole Foods Markets “have access to the vaccine at the earliest appropriate time.” And the American Trucking Association, a policy group, told the CDC this month that during the epidemic, truck drivers were “required for the continued viability of our nation’s infrastructure,” urging that “these critical critical infrastructure workers Access is preferred. “
The epidemic-stricken travel industry has also made its case. Airlines for a trade union, wrote to all 50 governors and 20 other union and industry groups that their workers should be given priority as they “keep our nation’s safe and efficient air transport and supply chain systems operational.” The American Hotel and Lodging Association requested that hotel staff be included because they are serving domestic and international travelers and health workers in quarantine.
Companies are not dependent only on their powers of persuasion. Zig said employers are scrambling to move private vendors from pharmacy chains to private clinics, which may be able to leverage their scale to deliver vaccines faster than the public health system, Zig said said. But it is still uncertain when and how this vaccine will reach the country’s most important workers.
Julie Schweber, a senior knowledge consultant at human resources consulting company SHRM, said employers are evaluating public health risks of not vaccinating their workers. He said the office may be different for employees working from home than a grocery store chain.
“It’s definitely a complex triangle, and we certainly don’t have all the answers,” Schweber said.