Vaccine delays leave grocery workers feeling expendable

Joseph Lupo
Posted at 4:41 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 04:41:14-05

(AP) — As panicked Americans cleared supermarkets of toilet paper and food last spring, grocery employees gained recognition as among the most indispensable of the pandemic’s front-line workers.

A year later, most of those workers are waiting for COVID-19 vaccines, with little clarity about when their turns may come.

The country’s chaotic vaccine rollout has resulted in a patchwork of policies that differ from state-to-state, and even county-to-county in some areas. The result has been an inconsistent approach to vaccinating low-paid essential workers who are exposed to hundreds of customers each day.

Only 13 states are allowing grocery workers to sign up for vaccines, according to the UFCW, which represents 1.3 million U.S. grocery, meatpacking and other front-line workers.