ICYMI: Gov. Evers Ignores CDC Guidelines and Snubs Manufacturers in Vaccine Rollout

[Madison, WI] – Once again, Gov. Tony Evers is ignoring CDC guidelines during his vaccine rollout. After bypassing guidance from the medical experts by failing to vaccine Wisconsinites with chronic health conditions sooner, Gov. Evers snubbed manufacturing workers by failing to include them in phase 1c of vaccine eligibility, despite the CDC guidelines that indicate that manufacturing workers should have been in phase 1b alongside other frontline essential workers.

Manufacturing workers have been serving in the trenches of the pandemic from the onset — working tirelessly to help make PPE and other equipment to help keep Wisconsinites safe — and they don’t have the option to work from home. It’s unfortunate but revealing that Gov. Evers thinks so poorly of Wisconsin manufacturers that he has failed to prioritize them for vaccine distribution not once, but twice.

Read more from the Milwaukee Business Journal here or find excerpts below.

WMC objects to Gov. Evers administration excluding factory workers from vaccinations
Milwaukee Business Journal
Rich Kirchen
March 12, 2021

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which is the largest business-advocacy group in the state, expressed frustration that Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services continue to omit manufacturing workers from the state’s Covid-19 vaccine distribution plan.

WMC said it sent multiple letters to the Department of Health Services and the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee before the final decisions on the two latest phases of vaccine eligibility. Factory workers weren’t included in either phase — the latest of which was announced Thursday — resulting in WMC objecting to those decisions and saying factory employees should be classified as essential workers.

WMC says state officials are ignoring recommendations from medical experts on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

That committee said manufacturing workers be included in Phase 1b along with first responders, teachers, grocery workers and other frontline workers who are at higher risk for “workplace-related exposure.”

Kurt Bauer, WMC’s president and CEO, noted that most shop-floor workers have reported to work throughout the pandemic and aren’t able to work remotely like office employees.

“Despite their contribution to our economy and the elevated risk exposure many manufacturing employees face, they will have to wait until May to be in line with everyone else to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in Wisconsin,” Bauer said. “This is simply unfair.”