Construction Officials Call For Nationwide Vaccination Distribution Plan

A COVID-19 vaccine is coming, eventually. Construction officials want the government to have a plan when it does.

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The Associated General Contractors of America recently sent out two (nearly identical) letters to the two top presidential candidates requesting the winner of the election to establish a nationwide vaccination distribution plan for when the eventual COVID-19 vaccine becomes publicly available.

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The AGC believes that establishing such a plan will help prevent confusion and streamline the process of getting essential workers vaccinated and protected from the on-going pandemic.

“A thoughtful and comprehensive plan to rollout the ultimately approved vaccine for the coronavirus will ensure that the construction industry can continue to provide support for other critical sectors of the economy,” AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr wrote in the letters to the two candidates.

The letters included three main recommendations:

  1. Establish and Implement a Nationwide Plan
  2. Prioritize Distribution of Vaccines to Vulnerable Populations and Essential Workers.
  3. Ensure that Vaccination Distributions Do Not Lead to Needless Economic Disruptions.

One main concern voiced in the letters is that the announcement and release of a vaccine without a clear plan could cause confusion and disruptions, especially if public officials chose to shut down the economy until the vaccine could be distributed.

“AGC perceives a risk that public officials may demand or require even essential businesses to shut down until the vaccines are widely distributed,” reads the letter. “A thoughtful and comprehensive plan for the nationwide distribution of vaccines would mitigate the risk of such disruptions and any need for federal preemption of state or local laws.”

Ultimately, the letters mainly attempt to communicate the perceived need for a vaccination distribution plan at the federal level, saying that leaving these matters up the to the states could lead to conflicting priorities and public uncertainty.

“The tremendous potential for this hard work and innovation to turn the country around will not, however, be realized if the subsequent distribution of vaccines is wholly delegated to state and local governments,” reads the letter. “There is the real potential that conflicting and confusing priorities at the state and local level will undermine the distribution process.”