Some argue that bank employees qualify as frontline workers

| Jan 9, 2021 | Workplace Accidents

As the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine rolls out across the United States, Minnesota officials have started providing the vaccine to the state’s frontline workers. Some disagreement over which workers qualify as frontline workers have some industries scrambling to vouch for their workers’ need for the vaccine.

Banks are among the industries pushing for their workers to have immediate access to the Pfizer vaccine. One bank said that nearly half of its employees tested positive for the virus. Close and consistent face-to-face interactions with patrons compromise the health of bank employees.

Deciding who’s next

As banks and other industries try to figure out when their employees will have access to the vaccine, many people wonder who makes these decisions. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the most common source for this type of information, they are not the ones making the recommendations.

Suggestions for policies regarding the vaccination come from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency also participates in determining which industries have the highest number of frontline workers.

Phased rollout suggests recommendations

Because banks operate as an essential business and tellers and officers interact daily with patrons, many bank leaders have requested faster access to the vaccine on behalf of their workers. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the aforementioned bank employees appear to fit into the description of a frontline worker. However, bank tellers do not appear in the list of mandatory vaccinations until Phase 3 of the rollout.

In the meantime, many banks have implemented strict protocols as recommended by the CDC to protect both patrons and employees. Too many positive cases among a branch’s employees could ultimately compromise its ability to remain open despite it qualifying as an essential business.