CDC Recommends Food and Agriculture Sector Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Priority Access

Washington, DC – Following the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) review and vote on vaccine prioritization for the food industry, the CDC has announced vaccine prioritization recommendations for food and agriculture sector essential workers, which includes bakers. Upon the announcement, the American Bakers Association’s (ABA) President and CEO Robb MacKie released this statement.:

“ABA’s members have been operating on the front lines of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Since the start, they have worked tirelessly to protect their workers and keep production operational to provide American families access to safe, nutritious, and wholesome baked goods.  We appreciate CDC’s prioritization recommendations recognizing bakers in phase 1b and encourage states and localities to adopt this critical recommendation. The vaccine prioritization of the food and agriculture sector’s essential workers is vital to ensure a safe, steady supply of food throughout the country.

ABA also recognizes the need to approach access to vaccines in a responsible manner in light of the initial limited supply. ABA partnered with two dozen food and beverage trade groups to create criteria for sub-prioritizing access to COVID-19 vaccinations within the food supply chain. These criteria are highly focused on the frontline employees who are keeping plants operational and other risk-based factors. We hope this industry guidance developed and supported by food producers will help states and localities coordinate with our companies for smooth distribution of the vaccine.”

ABA will continue to be a resource for Members throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency. On January 19, 2021, ABA will host a free informational webinar with Dr. David Acheson, Former FDA Associate Commissioner for Foods and founder and CEO of a global food safety consulting firm, The Acheson Group (TAG) to assist members in making the best decisions for their company’s essential employees. Registration can be found here.
The baking industry is encouraged to refer to ABA’s COVID-19 Toolkit and the new Vaccine Information page for timely updates of industry-relevant information and resources to assist members to respond effectively and efficiently during the ongoing public health emergency. 

Links to CDC presentations:
Allocation of initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine: Phase 1b and 1c  [42 slides]
Dr. K Dooling
Considerations for populations included in Phase 1b and 1c  [13 slides]
Dr. S Oliver