The news that the Health Executive Service (HSE) has reached 450,000 vaccinations as of 1st March is welcomed as they continue to vaccinate those in the priority 1 – 3 groups.
The Irish Petrol Retailers Association understands that Government has drawn up lists and begun the classification of “essential” workers for the purposes of vaccination, with individual departments asked to submit different categories of workers that may be given priority access to doses.
David Blevings, spokesperson for the IPRA explained, “It is proper and correct that the elderly and frontline health staff are prioritised, and we are encouraged by the progress by the HSE to date. Once the priority groups have been completed, we are keen to see front line retail staff included in any priority list.
Our members have been working throughout the pandemic and many retailers regularly report the lack of mask wearing by patrons at their stores and staff must continually remind customers to wear one and observe social distancing.
Most of our members are small family-owned businesses, essentially SME’s and they depend on family and staff to keep the operation open offering fuel for essential users and food supplies for local customers. They do an important job, and it would be fair to see them included in any priority list as key workers. We have today written to the Taoiseach’s office asking for retail staff to be classified as essential workers and included in this list”, added David.