The Ohio Chemistry Technology Council (OCTC) has been communicating with the DeWine administration to urge the Governor to consider adding chemistry industry workers as a priority group in Ohio’s Vaccination Program.
Last year, OCTC sent a letter to Gov. DeWine explaining the criticality of the industry and highlighting the essential inputs needed to produce products that are critical in the fight against COVID-19. Among many others, those include personal protective gear for front line workers; medical equipment needed to save lives; chemical biocides and disinfectants; refrigerants and dry ice, and plastic packaging materials that help prevent the contamination of medicine, food, and other consumer products.
Recognizing these facts, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) designated the chemical industry workforce as "essential critical infrastructure workers" as outlined in CDC and DHS Guidance on this subject.
The chemistry industry and many others have faced staffing and workforce challenges as a result of the pandemic. These challenges have taken many forms including travel bans and restrictions, quarantine mandates, increased absence due to illness. Due to the nature of our facilities, certain workers' must remain on-site to ensure that production can continue.
While the OCTC recognizes the difficult decisions involved in allocating the scarce resource of the COVID-19 vaccine, we also hope that our leaders in Ohio recognize the invaluable contribution of our chemical sector employees in the ongoing fight against this virus.