Saturday, December 9, 2023

U.S. Airline Workers Seek Priority For COVID Vaccine

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Airlines workers should move near the front of the queue to receive coronavirus vaccines to ensure its smooth shipment by air cargo, a coalition of 17 industry groups told officials on Thursday. American health.

Airline workers face higher risk of infection as they have to interact with the public or work in close proximity to their colleagues and therefore deserve to be treated the same as other critical infrastructure workers, said the groups.

“Given scientific, implementation and ethical considerations, we ask that you prioritize these frontline aviation workers in the next phase of vaccine allocation,” the letter to the Centers for Disease Control says. and Prevention.

America’s largest airline pilots union, which signed the letter, is separately asking lawmakers to give cockpit crews preference to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Cargo airline pilots “have seen an alarming increase in exposure and infection to Covid-19,” said Joseph DePete, president of the Airline Pilots Association, in a letter to Senate lawmakers dated Wednesday .

Congress and the administration should recognize pilots as a critical link in the supply chain, DePete said.

“Ensuring this prioritization will allow the logistics component of vaccine transport to continue without a hitch,” he said in the letter. ALPA is also looking to extend federal assistance to airlines that protect jobs “to ensure a strong supply chain,” DePete said.

The US government isshould approveinitial use of a coronavirus vaccine as early as this week. The 17 groups – which include the Airlines for America trade group, other pilot unions and associations representing cargo carriers – want airline workers to start receiving the vaccine after the initial wave of healthcare workers and residents in assisted living.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement earlier this week saying it is closely monitoring vaccine trials and assessing whether it will place restrictions on how pilots receive them. In some cases, when the vaccine causes side effects, the FAA will ask pilots to wait one to three days before flying after receiving a blow.

FedEx Corp. hired 70,000 workers to support both the soaring vacation package delivery and vaccine distribution in the coming weeks, said Richard Smith, the company’s regional president for the Americas and vice president, Thursday executive, during a Senate hearing.

ALPA, which represents FedEx pilots, has approximately 59,000 members in the United States and Canada.

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