WMC: Leaving manufacturing workers off vaccine eligibility list is “simply unfair”

(Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce)
Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 6:20 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - While millions of Wisconsin residents learned they will soon be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, one group felt left out by Thursday’s announcement.

In a statement released shortly after the Dept. of Health Services declared people with certain medical conditions could get the vaccine as soon as March 29, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce association criticized the decision not to include essential manufacturing workers from this latest stage of the rollout.

WMC President and CEO Kurt Bauer contended those ‘shop floor’ employees should have been included because they are not able to work remotely.

“Instead, as essential employees, they showed up to work day after day in order to buoy the Wisconsin economy and produce the critical products our state and nation needed – including a variety of personal protective equipment for hospitals, businesses and others,” he argued.

The organization stated it sent letters to the health agency and the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee prior to this latest expansion pointing out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations included essential manufacturing workers alongside first responders, teachers, and grocery workers, and other frontline workers facing an elevated risk of COVID-19 exposures.

First responders, teachers and grocery workers are all already eligible for the vaccine in Wisconsin.

The WMC accused the Evers Administration of ignoring expert advice regarding who would be in this latest round, with Bauer calling the decision to make those manufacturing workers wait until general eligibility rolls out in May “simply unfair.”

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