Food & Drinks

Massachusetts Restaurant Workers Can Get the COVID-19 Vaccine on March 22

Restaurant workers in Massachusetts will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on March 22, Gov. Charlie Baker announced today, March 17.

The news comes weeks after the Baker administration lifted all percentage-based capacity caps on the state’s restaurants — an acceleration of its hasty and, in the opinion of the nation’s top infectious disease experts, ill-advised reopening plan — despite the fact that restaurant workers had not yet been prioritized for the vaccine. (Note: there are still risks associated with indoor dining, and restaurant workers — especially unvaccinated restaurant workers — shoulder most of the burden.)

In addition to restaurant workers, grocery store workers, agricultural workers, meatpackers, and other foodservice workers will also be eligible for the vaccine on March 22.

Restaurants in Massachusetts have been open for indoor dining with varying capacity limits since June 2020, which means that restaurant workers have been risking their lives for a paycheck (with little or no help from federal and state legislatures) since June 2020.

Restaurant workers, grocery store workers, agricultural workers, meatpackers, and other foodservice workers — who have all been working on the front lines of the pandemic for more than a year now to make sure the rest of us could continue to eat — were told their labor was essential last March when the pandemic first broke out, but were essentially told otherwise as the state continued to deprioritize them with the rollout of each new vaccine stage. That, finally, has changed.

For more information about the Massachusetts vaccine rollout, go here.

Dining Rooms Shouldn’t Reopen Until Restaurant Workers Are Eligible for the Vaccine [EBOS]• CDC Chief Doubles Down On Warning As Mass. Opens Up [WBUR]• Is Indoor Dining Safe Now That I’m Vaccinated? [E]• One Year Into COVID, It Is Difficult to Assess the Breadth of What We’ve Lost [EBOS]• Here Are The Essential Businesses In Massachusetts, Under Baker’s New Order [WBUR]

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