People who are keeping the economy open need the vaccine earlier

The vaccine roll out looks like it will be the success story of the pandemic – it is heartening to see how well and how quickly our country can mobilise to get this delivered to the people that need it.

But why is it that a healthy 55 year old who works from home will receive their vaccine months before a 25 year old working in a supermarket, in a factory or on a construction site?

Risk is about more than the seriousness of outcomes, it is about the likelihood of contracting and spreading the disease.

We have been conducting Covid-19 compliance inspections on construction sites and other workplaces since April of last year, and although some of these places are doing really well with their risk control measures, many of them are not. We have heard from our clients about a number of outbreaks on sites, and many more people having to self-isolate as a result.

There are also serious issues in Construction in particular with a large proportion of self employed people – people who are less likely to self isolate when they should as they will not be paid in this situation.

If the government is keen to keep the economy operating and has specifically stated that those who cannot work from home should continue to attend their workplaces, it makes sense to get these workers who are far more likely to be exposed to the disease vaccinated first.