Sinn Féin 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-19 vaccination.
The West Tyrone MLA 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-19 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.
“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 food supply workers are included on the provisional priority list for vaccination and I believe that we need a similar approach here in the north.
“This sector is very vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks, so these workers should be one of the groups prioritised.”