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Canadian Meat Council Says Processing Workers Need To Be High Priority For Phase 2 Of Covid-19 Vaccinations

The Canadian Meat Council (CMC) is urging all provinces to identify meat workers as a priority group for phase 2 of vaccinations for Covid-19.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced on Friday that Ontario meat processors would have priority in phase 2 and that starting in June, they would have access to the vaccine to immunize workers in their plants.
“We are urging all provinces to follow the lead of the Ontario Government and recognize agri-food and the importance of our meat processors to the supply chain, and the need for our workforce to get vaccinated,” said Chris White, President of the CMC. “From freezer spaces to store vaccines, to nurses on-site, CMC members offer provinces and local public health units a solution as we can be self-sufficient to vaccinate our industry.”
The meat industry was among the first sectors to be challenged by this pandemic a year ago at this time. Since then, the industry has suffered shutdowns and slowdowns that impacted the supply chain and the ability to produce food for Canadians.
The work environment in a meat plant depends on close working conditions which make meat processing employees vulnerable to the virus. CMC Members have spent millions of dollars to retrofit their establishments and implement measures to protect their workers and minimize the spread of Covid-19 in plants.
“Despite industry’s best efforts, and millions invested to protect our workforce, the vaccine remains the most critical tool to protect this essential workforce,” added White.
The Government of Canada has also made available Rapid Screening Tests to our members as an additional tool in our toolbox of measures taken in the fight against Covid-19.
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