“Grocery workers say they can’t get coronavirus vaccines, even as they help distribute them,â€ť the Washington Post headline reads. But as the story makes clear, grocery workers donâ€™t â€śsayâ€ť they canâ€™t get vaccines. They canâ€™t. Unless they are elderly or have comorbidities in addition to being grocery workersâ€”i.e., unless they are eligible for vaccination for reasons other than being among the front-line workers who have kept us all going this last nearly a yearâ€”grocery workers donâ€™t get vaccination priority except in 13 states. Meanwhile, pharmacies in some grocery stores are administering the vaccinations the workers canâ€™t get.
â€śOf course health-care workers should get the vaccine first, thatâ€™s not a question,â€ť one California worker said. â€śBut how many people am I exposed to in a day? Hundreds. Sick or well? I donâ€™t know. Customers come in with masks under their nose, sipping their coffee as they walk around.â€ť
In 11 states thereâ€™s no plan to give grocery workers any priority for vaccination, while in Tennessee theyâ€™re at the same priority level as overnight camp counselors.
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This blog originally appeared at Daily Kos on February 20, 2021. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Laura Clawson has been a contributing editor since December 2006. Clawson has been full-time staff since 2011, and is currently assistant managing editor at the Daily Kos.