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Restaurant Industry Group Pushes For COVID Vaccine Access

According to President Joe Biden, the COVID-19 vaccine should be available to anyone in the country by spring, Bloomberg reported.

The target is ambitious given how the rollout has gone thus far, and Biden acknowledged that, saying it can only happen with massive hikes in inoculations, according to the report.

Right now, the U.S. is administering around 1.2 million shots per day, according to data from Bloomberg. Biden said he expects the number will hit 1.5 million a day soon. His administration has gotten the word from some manufacturers that more vaccine production will be ramping up.

As the current vaccine requires two doses, increasing the speed of vaccinations will be a “logistical challenge that exceeds anything we have ever tried in this country,” Biden said, but he added that he thinks it could happen, saying the country could be on its way toward herd immunity by the summer.

According to CNBC, the National Restaurant Association wants to get more access for food service workers to be vaccinated, although restaurants are unlikely to make it a requirement for workers.

Right now, food service workers are recommended in phase 1(c) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s list of who should be vaccinated in what order while supplies are limited. They’re behind high-risk healthcare workers, the elderly and frontline essential workers.

Sean Kennedy, a spokesman for the industry group, said in a statement to CNBC that vaccinating food service workers “will help ensure the food supply chain for our communities and ensure that agriculture industry and restaurant industry employees will be safe selling and serving healthy food.”

PYMNTS reported that while vaccine distribution is underway, not all of the habits of the pandemic will disappear as more aspects of pre-pandemic life become safer. That’s particularly true for digital behavior, including eCommerce and mobile banking, with 54 percent of customers excited about a vaccine also planning to continue shopping online even after it’s safer to go back to in-person behaviors.

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