The National Retail Federation (NRF) has urged the US Government to prioritise the retail workforce as early Covid-19 vaccine recipients.

In a letter submitted to the Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices at the CDC, NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay called the government for the inclusion.

Shay said: “Retailers have been on the front lines throughout the pandemic protecting associates, serving customers and keeping the communities in which they live and work safe and healthy.

“The industry invested billions of dollars to provide protective gear and training for their associates and to make the necessary changes to achieve and exceed health and safety recommendations made in municipal, state and federal guidelines.

“It is critically important those working in our nation’s stores, distribution centres, warehouses and throughout the retail ecosystem are among the early recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“The retail industry directly employs 32 million Americans, and we cannot lose sight of the importance of keeping them and the consumers they serve safe from this deadly disease.”

Besides NRF, e-commerce retailer Amazon has also reportedly called for the inclusion of essential workers including its warehouse, grocery store and data centre staff as early recipients.

With 800,000 workers, Amazon is the second-biggest private employer in the US.

On 14 December, US President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that the first coronavirus vaccine was administered in the country.

Last week, Walmart readied more than 5,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies to receive the vaccine doses once approved in the US.