Vaccinate the Postal Workers
Dear Governor Baker:
We, the undersigned members of the Massachusetts General Court, are writing to respectfully request that you prioritize United States Postal Service workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as recommended by the CDC’s national Advisory Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP). These workers are currently designated in the CDC’s Phase 1b recommendation, but have not been specifically named in the state’s eligibility criteria for Phase 1 or Phase 2. This has led to confusion, and a plea for assistance from postal workers in our respective districts.
Postal workers have been on the front lines throughout the entire pandemic, and sometimes do not receive the credit they so rightly deserve. As the old adage goes, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” and in 2021, this motto should be updated to include the words “nor pandemic.” Every day since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, letter carriers and postal workers have shown up to ensure our mail gets to its destination. Postal workers interact with the public regularly, whether it is when delivering mail to a person’s home or in the post office when citizens are buying stamps or mailing packages. Further, as a result of the pandemic, the USPS experienced a major increase in workload, as the agency handled millions of mail-in ballots during the 2020 elections, as well as a surge in package deliveries through the holiday season.
Ensuring that these workers remain healthy is essential to averting backlogs that have plagued the USPS since the onset of the pandemic. As State Representatives and State Senators, we know the postal workers in our districts, and we share their concerns both for their health and their ability to continue their essential work. We urge you to acknowledge the public health value of their role, and explicitly name these workers in the state’s eligibility criteria as soon as possible. Thank you for your consideration.
Jessica A. Giannino
16th Suffolk District