The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) is asking for railway supply workers to be considered as early candidates for the COVID-19 vaccine.
RSI sent a letter dated Thursday to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group affiliated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asking for essential critical infrastructure representing the transportation and logistics and the critical manufacturing sectors to be included in Phase 1B of the vaccine distribution.
Doing so would “ensure that our transportation systems can continue to operate safely and without disruption,” said the letter from Nicole Brewin, RSI vice president of government and public affairs.
Brewin argued in the letter that railway suppliers and their 125,000 workers in the industry provide service to support rail passenger and freight rail operations, which have been deemed essential by the federal government.
“The availability of a vaccine for these workers would significantly enhance this industry’s ability to perform its duty to maintain the essential rail supply chain and provide services to support critical rail operations while also ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our workers and the residents of the communities in which we live and work,” Brewin said.
RSI’s letter comes after hundreds of workers, particularly in the Midwest, have contracted COVID-19 this fall and since March.