VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — After months of working on the frontlines of the pandemic and interacting with thousands of people, a union president says there’s a massive sense of relief now that grocery workers over 18 years old in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health region, will be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine.
President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Kim Novak, says it’s been incredibly stressful for staff as different restrictions are implemented, variants become more relevant and COVID-19 cases rise.
“[Grocery store workers] are still going to work every single day and interacting with the public and people who were coming from various communities into their grocery stores,” she says.
“There’s really been a lot of concern and anxiety about when they were going to get prioritized, and now having some answers on that is going to be a huge step in the right direction.”
Related Article: Grocery, retail workers in Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal regions moved to vaccine priority list
She adds that the path to becoming prioritized was frustrating as many workers were concerned about interacting with the public without access to a vaccine.
“They wanted priority access [becuase] it was to keep them safe, their families who they go home to every day after work safe, and their workplaces safer with everyone who they may be interacting with. So this is overall going to increase safety for thousands of grocery workers, their families and the communities they live in.”
Novak says workers are already getting registered and will hopefully start booking appointments in the coming days.
– With files from Tarnjit Parmar