City postal workers call on state to elevate their COVID-19 vaccine eligibility
City postal workers are calling for the state to make them eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine sooner rather than later.
While the state government ultimately makes the decision of who's eligible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has already recommended that postal service employees be a part of state's phase 1b plans.
New York state is already in its first part of phase 1b, but the state did not list USPS workers as eligible.
John Cruz is the president of the Brooklyn Letter Carriers, a branch of the National Letter Carriers Union overseeing one of the city's most populated boroughs. He says it's no secret that essential employees like the USPS have been fronting more packages and Amazon deliveries than ever before.
Cruz estimates that out of his 2,400 members, over 300 of them have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
He says it's frustrating to learn that letter carriers have not already been elevated to eligible in New York after hearing the news that taxi drivers and restaurant workers could get the vaccine.
"People are being put on that list…I just want to be put on that list also like everyone else for the letter carriers," Cruz says. "We are front line workers and we deserve to be put on that list."
The USPS and the city Department of Health pointed to the state's sole power to determine who is eligible.
Supply in New York remains an issue, with more people eligible to get the vaccines and only 20% more doses expected to come to the state in the coming weeks.
News 12 reached out to the state Department of Health for a comment.