Pork Industry: You Are Essential, Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
By Jennifer Shike, FarmJournal's Pork†
February 17, 2021
Supplying Americans and consumers worldwide with safe, nutritious pork requires a work force of more than 500,000 people across the country. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declared this work force as essential. From hog farmers and veterinarians to livestock haulers and harvest facility employees, they all play a crucial role in in our nationís food security and rural economies.
In an effort to keep this workforce safe, the U.S. pork industry has made considerable investments to protect its essential workers across the supply chain. For example, meatpacking companies have invested more than $1.5 billion to implement new worker safety measures.
New analysis of independent data for 2020 shows these measures are working. In January, the North American Meat Institute reported new COVID-19 infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers were five times lower in December than in May, while rates in the general population rocketed up by nine times in the same period.
As the vaccine rollout continues across the country, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has played an important role...