Front-line bank employees could get a shortcut to accessing the coronavirus vaccine as industry leaders make a pitch that tellers and consumer-facing lenders have to come in contact with hundreds of people per day.
According to MarketWatch, the American Bankers Association is asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to designate front-line bank workers in the financial services industry as “essential workers” and for them to receive priority in getting the vaccine.
“From the start of the pandemic ABA members have prioritized the health and safety of their customers and employees. In our conversations with public health agencies, ABA has advocated that among bank employees already deemed ‘essential’ by the government, those that come in contact with the public every day, such as tellers, should be considered for the CDC’s Phase 1b along with essential workers in other industries,” said the ABA, which represents community banks.
Coronavirus vaccines, which are in the process of being approved by the Food and Drug Administration, are expected to first go to health care workers and residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, who are considered most vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19.
Even if federal guidelines designated bank employees as “essential,” giving them a greenlight to move up in priority for the vaccine, state and local governments would still have discretion on how the vaccine should be distributed.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said earlier this year that he would expect the vaccine to be able to distributed to the wider public by April.
The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 14 million people in the country, and killed over 270,000.
Author : Mica Soellner
Source : Washington Examiner : Bank workers may be second in line for vaccine after healthcare workers