WASHINGTON – The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) is urging the Biden administration to keep front-line meat and poultry processing workers as a high-priority category as COVID-19 vaccinations continue being distributed and administered across the country. NAMI said reaffirming efforts to protect workers will serve to improve infection rates that have dropped to below 80% of the general population. 

NAMI added that protection efforts, including implementing physical barriers, universally requiring face masks and eye protection be worn by plant workers along with social distancing have reduced infection rates significantly in the industry.   

“Front-line meat and poultry workers deserve immediate access to vaccines as they continue feeding Americans and keeping our farm economy working,” said Julie Anna Potts, NAMI president and chief executive officer. “The administration should commit to workers’ long-term safety, not create inflexible standards that could force facilities to decrease capacity utilization.”

The continued implementation of proven measures and supporting programs to provide vaccines to workers in the industry quickly and safely is a commitment supported by the association’s members, according to NAMI.