P.E.I. seafood processors happy to be added to COVID-19 vaccination queue

·1 min read
Acadian Supreme has ensured all staff wear personal protective gear during the pandemic, but CEO Jeff Malloy says keeping physical distance is difficult while processing seafood. (Nancy Russell/CBC - image credit)
Acadian Supreme has ensured all staff wear personal protective gear during the pandemic, but CEO Jeff Malloy says keeping physical distance is difficult while processing seafood. (Nancy Russell/CBC - image credit)

The operators of some seafood processing plants on P.E.I. welcome the news that fish plant workers will be part of the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

P.E.I. Health officials say they will be reaching out to the plant operators with details on vaccination plans for the workers.

The P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association sent a letter to the Chief Public Health Office asking if seafood processors could be considered once vaccinations are complete for front-line workers and vulnerable Islanders.

"We've all done a tremendous job of securing our locations with proper protective equipment for our workers," says Jeff Malloy, CEO of Acadian Supreme and the past president of the association, "but certainly it's an environment where it's very difficult to keep people six feet apart … throughout the whole day."

Malloy said vaccination would reduce worry for plant workers.

"I'm happy to hear that they'll be in the queue. I mean, our season starts the 1st of May."

Malloy says a COVID-19 outbreak at a processing facility could negatively impact the entire industry on P.E.I.
Malloy says a COVID-19 outbreak at a processing facility could negatively impact the entire industry on P.E.I.(Nancy Russell/CBC)

Malloy also notes that if a plant were to be shut down due to an outbreak of COVID-19 it would be bad for the entire industry.

"We need all the production capacity in order to be able to handle the lobsters that people are bringing in," he said.

P.E.I. Health officials said the logistics of the clinics for fish plant workers are still being discussed.

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