Industry organizations are lobbying to get HVACR technicians, along with those working in other skilled trades, to the top of the list of those receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is already in the initial stages of deployment — Phase 1A — and is going out to healthcare workers, vulnerable seniors, and those in long-term care facilities. Now, states are choosing which essential workers should be included in the next stage of deployment, and which essential workers will need to wait for a subsequent phase.
The HVAC industry is arguing that the importance of technicians makes them excellent candidates to be prioritized in Phase 1B distribution of the vaccine. HVAC technicians have been named as essential critical infrastructure workers by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Vaccine distribution plans will ultimately be up to state and local government officials, but CDC guidance will have a significant impact on decisions made.
Top Of The List
In a letter to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), ten skilled trades organizations asked that the committee consider the importance of HVACR technicians to American health when it consults the CDC regarding Phase 1B of vaccine distribution.
“A resurgent virus and second wave of COVID-19 infections come as colder temperatures descend on much of the nation and millions of American families are driven indoors,” the letter stated. “In fact, we believe a record number of Americans may work, study, and celebrate the holidays from home this winter. They continue to rely on local utilities and home heating fuel providers and related service professionals for their continued health, warmth, and safety.”