SINN Fein MLA Declan McAleer has supported calls from the NI Meat Exporters Association (NIMEA) for key workers in the meat-processing sector to be prioritised for Covid vaccination.
Mr McAleer (pictured) said: “Meat processing plants are a crucial part of our food supply chain and have experienced significant challenges throughout the world as a result of Covid outbreaks.
“During the lockdowns of 2020, people have developed a greater appreciation of how vital it is to have a secure supply of food in the local shops. This consistency of supply is thanks to key workers such as those employed in food processing plants. I believe they should be prioritised, along with other key workers, when rolling out the vaccine.”
The chair of the AERA committee added: “When the request from NIMEA came before the committee last week we unanimously agreed to ask the DAERA Minister to take forward the matter with the Health Minister.
“In the South of Ireland meat plant workers are included on the priority list for vaccination and I believe that we need a similar approach here in the North. This sector is very vulnerable to Covid outbreaks, so these workers deserve to be prioritised for their own health and well-being and for the significant benefits the meat processing sector brings to society as a whole.”