Restaurant workers in at least one major city will be able to start getting the COVID-19 vaccination in February.
This week, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced at a press conference that essential restaurant workers would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination on Feb. 1. The news comes as cities grapple with COVID-19 vaccine distribution, prioritizing frontline workers, health care workers, the elderly and other high-risk groups.
Municipalities across the country are structuring COVID-19 vaccine distribution, prioritizing frontline workers, healthcare workers, the elderly and other high risk groups.
(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Residents living in Virginia and Maryland who are employed as essential restaurant workers in D.C. will also be eligible for the shot, Washington City Paper’s Laura Hayes reported.
The vaccine rollout has been slower than anticipated for many Americans, particularly for workers who are employed at restaurants, bars and other public-facing food industry jobs, who have been putting their own health and lives at risks since the virus broke out in March.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested food service workers be included in round 1c of distribution, the second round of vaccines after healthcare workers. However, states ultimately regulate distribution.
For example, food service employees working in hospitals across Illinois are now able to get COVID-19 vaccines; however, officials said Tuesday restaurant workers will still have to wait until next month, per Eater Chicago. (Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot had also publicly stated that the city did not have enough doses of the vaccine.) And in New York, restaurant workers are grouped into phase four of the vaccination rollout, which aims to innoculate “all other essential workers” as well.