WASHINGTON – In an effort to make more vaccinations available to all Americans, and especially the meat and poultry industry’s front-line workers, and continue the downward trend of new cases industrywide and across the country, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) announced on April 1 that it was the founding member of a US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) program known as the national COVID-19 Community Corps.

NAMI said with front-line industry workers now eligible for vaccinations in 44 states, “increased supplies and distribution are urgently needed to build on comprehensive measures instituted since spring 2020 that have brought case rates nearly 90% lower than in the general population.”

According to data collected by NAMI from the Food and Environment Reporting Network and the New York Times, through the end of March, daily cases of COVID-19 reported among front-line workers are about nine times lower per 100,000 people compared to the general population.

Educating the public and increasing confidence in vaccines as a means of preventing the spread of the virus is a priority for NAMI, said president and chief executive officer, Julie Anna Potts.

“As a founding member of the national COVID-19 Community Corps, the Meat Institute is proud to partner with HHS and leaders across America to support vaccine information and access for the 500,000 meat and poultry workers who keep food on Americans’ tables and our farm economy working.”

The goals of the campaign include bolstering public confidence in the vaccine and alleviating hesitancy to receive it; explain how Americans can protect themselves from the virus; and make vaccines more accessible by informing them how and where they are available.