MADISON – On Tuesday, Gov. Tony Evers and Dept. of Health Services (DHS) Secretary Karen Timberlake announced that manufacturing workers would be excluded from Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, even though the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended they be included. Following the announcement, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) President & CEO Kurt Bauer released the below statement:
“It is disheartening that prisoners were put ahead of manufacturing workers in Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Manufacturers have been essential to Wisconsin’s response to this virus for nearly a year – including modifications to produce critical medical supplies and personal protective equipment. We are disappointed that Gov. Evers and his Administration have ignored the medical experts at the CDC by excluding manufacturing workers from the next phase of the vaccine rollout.”
WMC urged DHS to include manufacturing workers in Phase 1B in a letter sent yesterday, in addition to numerous communications with the Evers Administration over the last two months. Manufacturing is Wisconsin’s largest industry employing nearly 470,000 people and making up roughly 20 percent of the state’s economy.