The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) President and CEO Matthew Shay issued a statement advocating for the retail workforce to be included among the early recipient groups for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Retailers have been on the front lines throughout the pandemic protecting associates, serving customers and keeping the communities in which they live and work safe and healthy. The industry invested billions of dollars to provide protective gear and trainings for their associates and to make the necessary changes to achieve and exceed health and safety recommendations made in municipal, state and federal guidelines. Today, NRF submitted a letter to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at the CDC in favor of including the retail workforce among those with access to the COVID-19 vaccines during the early stages of its distribution.

“It is critically important those working in our nation’s stores, distribution centers, warehouses and throughout the retail ecosystem are among the early recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine. The retail industry directly employs 32 million Americans, and we cannot lose sight of the importance of keeping them and the consumers they serve safe from this deadly disease.”