Utilities Should Request COVID-19 Vaccines for Staff

The Water Sector Coordinating Council (WSCC) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) are urging U.S. water and wastewater utilities to contact their State and local public health agencies to ensure their staff are properly prioritized in their community’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

As stated in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations, water and wastewater utility employees are eligible for Phase 1-B distribution priority because they have the Federal designation of “essential workers.”

In December, the WSCC distributed a memo to utilities that states in part, “In a December 7 email to Water and Wastewater Sector partners, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Security Division recognized the CDC’s interim playbook ‘recommends non-health care essential workers, which include water utility staff, receive priority in Phase 1-B’ and stated it ‘recommends water utilities coordinate with their state and local governments and health departments regarding vaccination distribution planning.’”

AWWA and other water associations created a template letter for utilities to use when contacting their State and local health authorities. Questions can be directed to Kevin Morley, Federal Relations Manager for AWWA.